Take Me Home Tonight (15)
Starring: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Teresa Palmer
Friday 13 May 2011
From the opening blast of Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" you know Michael Dowse's drippy 1980s comedy romance is going to be a dud.
It apes the likes of Weird Science, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and fails to replicate the wit or charm of any of them. Topher Grace, as Matt Franklin (a role perennially occupied by Andrew McCarthy in the Eighties), doesn't help. We're supposed to cheer for his supposedly nerdy video-store clerk and his pursuit of his high-school crush, Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer), but he resembles Justin Timberlake too much to come across as anything other than a cocky, savvy 23-year-old.
Take Me Home Tonight bludgeons us with a few 1980s references – Rubik's Cubes etc – and a wealth of New Romantic (Human League, Duran Duran) tracks to start with but unlike, say, The Wedding Singer, it never convincingly captures the decade. It's like a less crude, less funny American Pie with slightly frizzier hair. In fact, there doesn't seem to be any necessity to tell this tale in the Eighties at all.
The plot? Matt pretends he works for Goldman Sachs before arranging to meet Tori at a high school reunion party held by a dim jock, Kyle, the boyfriend of Tori's sister, Wendy (played by Anna Faris, a talented comedian, diminished here). Matt's chubby pal, Barry (Dan Fogler, a blend of Nick Frost and Jack Black), tags along too. The action largely takes place at two dismal, painful parties, featuring the usual clichés, plus an unsettlingly threesome involving a coked-up Barry. An unlikeable film, full of puerile (not in a good way) humour that highlights just how good the likes of Michael Cera, Kirsten Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg are. As Buggles (almost) sang, this picture came, and it won't break your heart...
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
A victory for gender equality on the high seas
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election