March 4, 2011 at 1:00 am

Review: 'Take Me Home' is tired and true

A college graduate (Topher Grace, center) chases after the girl of his dreams in this late-1980s-set coming-of-age comedy. (Relativity Media)

'Take Me Home Tonight" screams DVD rental.

You know, for one of those brain-dead nights when you want to see a period coming-of-age romantic comedy that's a whole lot like other period coming-of-age romantic comedies you've already seen, starring some pretty talented people who seem to be having a good enough time making a movie.

Understand: This is not a high school period coming-of-age romantic comedy. It's more mature than that. It's about people who have just graduated from college and apparently missed their coming-of-age high school moments.

The film is also set in the '80s, although it's hard to see why. It doesn't really factor into anything except a few outdated outfits.

Topher Grace (winning as always) stars as Matt Franklin, a graduate of MIT who is aimlessly working in a video store. When he runs into Tori (Teresa Palmer), the girl he secretly pined for in high school, he lies about being a stockbroker, then arranges to meet her at a party later.

Of course, Matt has a wacky, windbag friend (Dan Fogler). For reasons unclear, there is also his older sister (the brilliant but virtually unused Anna Faris from "The House Bunny").

Other talented people pop up throughout the movie, including Lucy Punch (her exact role is indistinct), Michelle Trachtenberg as a punk hottie, Michael Biehn as Matt's cop dad and Chris Pratt as the designated obnoxious rich kid.

Drinking jokes. Sex jokes. Wild antics. Sincere looks. Nothing goes on here that hasn't gone on — and gone on better — in other movies.

Really. Pizza. A bottle of wine. Saturday night with nothing better to do. "Take Me Home Tonight" will cut it. But that's about it.

tlong@detnews.com

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