Take Me Home to the "Blip"
Movie poster credit: http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/
I heard the rumblings about Topher Grace’s homage to John Hughes and immediately winter seemed less dreary and sad. Take Me Home Tonight was to be a movie that emulated the brilliance of Hughes and his sensitivity toward adolescent issues. As an 80’s aficionado and an old-school Gen-Xer, I am attracted to anything that purports affection toward the second and final decade of my youth. Unlike the generations who claim that if you can recall the 60s and 70s you weren’t really there, we Xers take pride in our compulsion to not only recall the 80s, but to occasionally live our lives as though we are still back there (in other words, not all of us have grown up yet).
Everyone from local critics to my beloved Roger Ebert hated Take Me Home Tonight. To convey just how awful this movie is, they used a lot of adjectives and adverbs. They wrote about the endless party, the hedonistic immorality and drug use, and the unlikeable post-college slackers who won’t grow up. They spoke about the sophomoric stupidity of twenty-somethings and this meaningless portrayal of one reckless night of drinking and hooking up.
Local critics and Roger, you missed the point. Take Me Home Tonight is all about that "blip." The blip is that frame, that scene you relive over and over. The blip is that one night or summer or year or decade when youth was as endless as a keg party and our futures unwritten. Take Me Home Tonight conjures up that sensation and panic of being adrift; when adulthood forces us to decide whether to sell our souls to corporate America, or to buck tradition and to take on the eternal search for true callings; when we live with the first big regrets of our lives and wonder what would be different if we had the courage to kiss our unrequited high school crush. The blip is that final moment when we live without fear of consequences, and as in the movie, it is our last opportunity to "do, don't think."
There are a few things Topher got wrong. None of us were as skinny as the actors in this movie, and their hair was all wrong. I didn't see a single decent mall bang. But the music and the clothes and parties and cars were all borrowed from my memories. Choice.
For a great review of Take Me Home Tonight, ignore Roger and the gang, and instead read this: