The nerd, the prom queen and the obnoxious jock: they are all here in this post-high school dramedy about What Happens After Graduation. Matt (Topher Grace) is the nerd, a former maths wiz who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. Tori (I Am Number Four's feisty Number 6, Teresa Palmer) is the prom queen he still obsesses over, several years later. But will she finally fall for his faux banker spiel at Kyle Masterson's (Chris Pratt) Labor Day party? Or will Matt go home alone... again? Comedy queen Anna Faris rounds out a neat four-way play.
If there's one thing Hollywood loves almost as much as a high school movie, it's a movie about what happens after High School. Think Hot Tub Time Machine, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and Grosse Point Blank.
Post-playground America is, it seems, a place where righteousness and the underdog reign supreme. The bully is always a deadbeat (or will become so during the course of the film) and the cheerleader is always much more susceptible to the charms of the geek she wouldn't have looked twice at it in Senior Year.
Nowhere is this truer than in Take Me Home Tonight, a pleasant enough film that has absolutely no pizzazz whatsoever, entertaining largely off the back of its kick-ass Eighties soundtrack - think Video Killed the Radio Star and Hungry Like the Wolf - and a nostalgic insistence that, yes, most men of that decade did wear headbands and leather trousers.
The basic plot is as follows: boy has potential, boy goes to college, boy has "I don't want to be a yuppie" early-life crisis, and drops out of college to work in a video store, boy sees high school crush and pretends to be a banker, boy attends the popular crew's party with his crazy sidekick and attempts to woo girl. Crazy Shenanigans ensue and boy learns Important Life Lessons.
In this case the boy is Matt Franklin (Grace, Spider-Man 3's Venom) and his sidekick is Barry (Dan Fogler), an overweight loser whose main job is being loud.
The Crazy Shenanigans are rolled out right we most expect them, and include stealing a convertible, crashing a convertible, a dance-off and a hell of a lot of cocaine.
Anna Faris is there too as Matt's clever twin sister, whose jock boyfriend Kyle (Pratt, Jennifer's Body) doesn't want her to go to Cambridge. Is this Faris's attempt at a more cerebral role following Scary Movie and The House Bunny?
Take Me Home Tonight is pretty similar to Hot Tub Time Machine, playing for the same silly Eighties laughs but never quite getting them.
There's nothing really wrong with it, but nothing quite right either, and the wildest night of Matt's life ends up looking a bit like a music video mash-up from the days when most music videos consisted of little more than a big hair-do and a couple of electric guitars.
And, without giving away the ending, it's fair to say that Matt does not seem to learn very much at all, except that cannonballing out the back of a van is a good way to pick up chicks.