Take Me Home Tonight
Take Me Home Tonight Poster
Theatrical release poster
Film information

Directed by

Michael Dowse


Terry Stacey

Release Date(s)

March 4, 2011



Take Me Home Tonight is a 2011 American retro comedy film starring an ensemble cast including Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler and Teresa Palmer. The film was written by the writers of That '70s Show and directed by Michael Dowse. The title comes from the 1986 Eddie Money song of the same name, also played in the theatrical trailer. Shooting began on the week starting February 19, 2007.


The film is set in 1988 Los Angeles. Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) is a recent MIT graduate who works at a Suncoast Video store while trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, something that his LAPD father has grown impatient with. While working one day, Matt's high school crush, Tori Fredreking (Teresa Palmer), randomly walks into the store. After pretending that he doesn't work there and saying that he works at Goldman Sachs in an effort to impress her, Tori invites Matt to a Labor Day party, held by Matt's twin sister Wendy (Anna Faris) and her boyfriend, Kyle Masterson (Chris Pratt).

Later that night, Matt, Wendy, and Matt's best friend, Barry Nathan (Dan Fogler), head to the party. On the drive over, Barry steals a brand new Mercedes-Benz convertible from the car dealership he got fired from earlier that day, justifying his actions by saying that Matt needs the convertible if he really wants to impress Tori.

The trio arrive at the party. While there, Matt catches up with an old classmate (who actually works at Goldman Sachs) and awkwardly tries to woo Tori, Barry snorts some cocaine he found in the glove box of the stolen convertible and gets involved in a dance-off, and Wendy's boyfriend proposes to her in front of everyone at the party. She says yes, upsetting Matt, who doesn't think that Kyle will support her in her plans to attend graduate school at the University of Cambridge.

Tori eventually invites Matt and Barry to another party going on in Beverly Hills. Barry has a sexual encounter with an older woman while Matt and Tori continue to mingle with each other. They eventually leave the party and go into a neighbor's backyard where they jump on a trampoline, play truth or dare, and end up having sex. Afterwards, Matt confesses to Tori that he doesn't actually work at Goldman Sachs. Tori gets extremely upset and storms off, leaving Matt guilt-ridden.

Later on, as Matt and Barry drive back to Kyle's party, Matt tells Barry about how he told Tori the truth about his job. Barry patronizes him for not trying to have just one night of enjoyment and attempts to lighten the mood by offering Matt a line of cocaine, despite him driving. Matt, feeling vulnerable, attempts to snort the cocaine, but ends up driving the convertible off the road and into a ditch. A police cruiser soon arrives, and it turns out to be Matt's dad and his police partner. Already disappointed with Matt's unwillingness to choose a career path, Mr. Franklin damages the convertible even more as a means of coercing Matt to get a better job in order to pay off the damages. He takes Matt and Barry into custody, but lets them off in a random neighborhood with a warning. Matt apologizes to his dad for being such a failure, to which his dad replies that because he's never even tried to succeed, he's actually less than a failure. Then, in a less condescending tone, he encourages Matt to take a shot at anything in life.

Matt and Barry eventually make their way back to Kyle's party, where bets are being placed on who will ride "the ball," a giant, steel sphere that someone enters and gets rolled down a hill in (something Matt's dad has stated that nobody has done since he himself was a kid). Matt finds Tori at the party and tries to apologize, but Tori is unwilling to forgive him. Feeling he has nothing to lose, Matt volunteers to ride the ball. When he does, however, the ball rolls downhill uncontrollably, hitting several parked cars and eventually flying off an embankment before landing in a swimming pool. Matt almost drowns as the ball sinks, but manages to escape just in time. Barry rushes to the scene and walks with Matt back to the party, which is beginning to wind down as the sun is coming up.

Wendy shares her admissions letter from Cambridge with Kyle, where it is revealed that she did not make it in. Kyle is visibly relieved. This angers Wendy and, realizing that Matt was right all along, ends the engagement and breaks up with Kyle. Meanwhile, Matt makes one last attempt to make amends with Tori. She eventually forgives him after playing a little hard-to-get and gives him her phone number before leaving. Matt, Wendy, and Barry then leave the party to go get breakfast.

In the ending scene, Matt's dad is investigating the scene where the steel ball was found. He finds Matt's Suncoast Video name tag floating in the pool, and smirks proudly.



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