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Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Topher Grace and Anna Farris star in ’Take Me Home Tonight.’

Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Topher Grace and Anna Farris star in ’Take Me Home Tonight.’

Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Topher Grace and Anna Farris star in ’Take Me Home Tonight.’

Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Topher Grace and Anna Farris star in ’Take Me Home Tonight.’

“Take Me Home Tonight” is a 10-years-too-late comedy. It’s ’80s nostalgia vamped up by people too young to have lived through the actual ’80s, but entirely too old to be playing college kids nostalgic for their ’80s high-school glory days.

It’s “Hot Tub Time Machine” without the time machine or the hot tub. Or the fun that entailed.

Topher Grace, now a well-preserved 32, is Matt, the recent M.I.T. grad working for Suncoast Video while he tries to decide what to do with his life.

Anna Faris, now 34, is Wendy, Matt’s twin sister, equally directionless also working at Suncoast.

And Dan Fogler, now 34, is Barry, Matt’s burly, boozy loose-cannon pal. He skipped college and is regretting it.

Their story? Straight out of the ’90s — the “Can’t Hardly Wait” tale of a guy-who-never-confessed-to-his-high-school-crush.

Teresa Palmer plays Tori, the object of Matt’s crush. At 24, she’s at least the right age to be playing somebody just starting her career and her life.

Through one wild, long night Matt, Barry, Wendy and Tori experience multiple parties, freaky L.A. party sex, cocaine, grand theft auto and a great, deadly dare. And each, in his own way, has a moment of truth.

Eighties nostalgia, very briefly a big deal in the ’90s, lacks texture and is all about skinny ties, moussed hair, Duran Duran and “Safety Dance” — all delivered in copious quantities here.

Life lessons are doled out as well. Matt, who is driving his cop dad (Michael Biehn) and his sister nuts with his indecision, must decide to “go for it.” Barry must figure out he’s on a dead end street and find purpose. Wendy needs to open that envelope from grad school and decide what to do with the boyfriend who just proposed to her at his big Labor Day party.

And Tori must decide if this guy with his sports-jacket sleeves rolled up is just a poseur, claiming to work at Goldman Sachs, or somebody she should never have ignored in high school.

Grace has some very nice scenes pretending to be a currency trader, but it’s a shame he didn’t get this up and running right after “That ’70s Show” ended. Even taking into account how long it sat on the shelf, hampered by a ratings controversy, he and those he surrounded himself with are a bit too long in the tooth to make this work.

review

What: “Take Me Home Tonight”

Starring: Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Teresa Palmer, Dan Fogler

Directed by: Michael Dowse

Running time: 97 minutes

Rated: R, for language, sexual content and drug use

1/2

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