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Carole Mallory Headshot

Take Me Home Tonight Has a Hidden Heart

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TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) has the charm and sensuality of a young Cary Grant and uses these charms on Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer) who is his high school dream girl whom he never had the courage to ask on a date during the heated 80s. She is so stunning you can imagine Matt being intimidated by her beauty. In an opening sequence Tori comes into a video store in the Sherman Oaks Galleria where Matt works. He tricks her into a conversation with him. Terrified to tell her he works at this video store Sun Court, he lies and tells her that he works at Goldman Sachs. A graduate of MIT , Matt now 23 is a wiz with math. His father hounds him to find a proper job, but Matt is confused as to what to do with his life. "I didn't give one quarter of my salary to MIT so that you could work at a mall," his father says.

Matt has a twin sister Wendy played to perfection by Anna Faris and a best friend Barry Nathan (Dan Folger) who is the weakest actor in the lot. In a driving sequence Matt and Barry both do not look enough at the road to be taken seriously as drivers (or actors) , but then the point of this film is to enjoy, not analyze and to sit back and to relax. The 80s music is featured at just the right moments and the choice of songs will satisfy nostalgia buffs. This is not just another one of 'those' films. This is a fun, hip look at innocence, youth and first love. Hats off to the writer-director Michael Douse and Jeff and Jackie Filgo who wrote the screenplay along with Douse.

After stealing a Mercedes red convertible from the car lot that used to employ Barry until he was fired, Matt, his sister and Barry are off to an epic, end of summer party. Cocaine is discovered in the Mercedes glove box and Barry eventually puts it into his suit pocket.

At the party Matt connects with Tori who is impressed that he is working at Goldman Sachs as she is working at a competitive brokerage house. Later she confesses that she hates her job. Still Matt can not tell her the truth about himself.

Barry gets involved with a buxom woman who wants some of his coke and then tells him that she wants to have sex with him in the bathroom. Her date comes in. "What does he want?" Dan asks. "To watch," she says. While this scene has its momentary laughs, it tries too hard and is a weak part of the film.

Soon the entourage tires of this party and Tori and her friends see the red Mercedes that Matt and Barry are driving. Barry announces he has cocaine and the girls invite them to another party at a spectacular home in Beverly Hills owned by Tori's employer.

Tori introduces Barry to her boss who is smitten with her and tries to lure her to his bedroom when Matt cleverly prevents this from happening.

The group returns to the first party and soon Matt and Tori are escaping to a nearby secluded home where after jumping on the trampoline they jump each other. When they finish making love, Matt tells Tori that he works in a video store and she reacts badly claiming that he lied to her just to have sex. She runs away. The good writing helps you to empathize with both parties and the sadness that results.

Eventually Matt who is heartbroken takes on a dare to get inside of a giant ball and be propelled down a steep hill to where? Wherever this ball stops. You have to see the film to find out what happens.

This is a dangerous under taking and moments before Matt gets into the ball he announces to the parties' some one hundred guests , "I'm Matt Franklin. I work at Sun Court Video in the Sherman Oaks Galleria. And I still live with my parents. I've been so afraid that I've messed up my life. We're all trying to be something we're not."

See Take Me Home Tonight and be grateful you had the gumption to go to a film that does not present itself like the big hearted soul it is and you just could leave the theatre singing.