The recapturing of the quintessential eighties film is a fleeting and joyous subgenre, when done right(The Informers) elicits a rare nostalgic utopia, when done wrong(too many to name) an elongated cringe.
Michael Dowse's Take Me Home Tonight is simple, formulaic and stretched thin, but also hits every note right that we recall from our favorite popcorn me decade teen comedies.
The all in one night party, the lovable shmoe protag, his blundering, clownish chubby buddy, the brainy sister, the jerk jock boyfriend, the (seemingly) unobtainable it girl are all here, adeptly laid bare by Dowse and his writers, who exploit and comment on the cliches, fleshing thwm out, reviving them and reveling in the cult that is the 80's, the sounds and the sights.
Topher Grace is perfect as our hero, his honest emotion and boyish face mark his place as our most amiable young comedy lead. His ensemble of co-stars are near perfect at inhabiting these tried and (un)true characters.
Although the plot mechanisms and rote cliches are painfully obvious, they are a tribute to the subgenre in its entirety, enforcing the limits of joy bringing back yesterday once more.