Take Me Home Tonight

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Take Me Home Tonight Movie Poster Image
All-night-party movie mixes raunch and warmth.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The main characters embark on a night of debauchery that includes sex, drinking, drugs, stealing a car, and, chiefly, lying. But it's clear that they're not bad people, and they make every attempt to undo their bad behavior and set things right. Plus, Matt learns to stop "playing it safe" and try something, anything, with his life. In essence, he learns bravery and to face challenges.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The movie's hero, Matt, has put his life on hold, ignoring his gift with math and numbers to work a brain-dead job. He's afraid of taking risks and facing challenges and lies to get a date with a girl he likes. But over the course of the movie, he struggles to undo his lie and begins to work up the courage to face life's challenges.


The main character agrees to perform a dangerous stunt during a party. As a result, he crashes into several cars and nearly drowns. There's a brief fight, mostly involving pushing and shoving.


The main character sleeps with the girl he once had a crush on in high school. She takes off her top, but her breasts aren't shown. The main character's friend starts to have sex with a woman in a bathroom, with another man watching. The woman is seen naked. Also extensive innuendo, some crotch-grabbing (while dancing), and a sequence about how men look at women's breasts.


Strong, persistent language throughout includes many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "bitch," "goddamn," "blow job," "bastard," "oh my God," "prick," "d--k," "a--hole," "p---y," "screwed," "hell," "ass," "hell," "laid," "boobs," and "slut." The characters also lip sync to a hardcore rap song that features the "N" word.


Pepsi bottles are on view during a dinner scene. The main character works at Suncoast Video, which is shown once and then frequently mentioned over the course of the movie. Budweiser bottles are on view during most of the party sequences.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the main characters pours a huge glass of wine after getting fired. He also takes huge swigs from a bottle of champagne. He finds a bag of cocaine in a car and decides to snort some; he's shown clearly enjoying the high. Young adults are seen drinking beer and smoking cigarettes at a party. This is all played for humor, and there is no indication of addiction -- but there are also no serious consequences.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this all-night-party movie set in the 1980s is, on the surface, focused on the main characters getting "wasted" and "laid." And while there's plenty of content related to sex and drinking/drugs, by the time the night ends, the characters have learned lessons about facing challenges rather than avoiding them. Still, expect lots of strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and more), drug use and drinking, and sexual situations, innuendoes, and even some nudity. Bottom line? Save this one for older teens ... and parents who fondly remember the era of skinny ties and shoulder pads.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byKathy T. March 31, 2017

Iffy for 16+

Good movie about MIT guy who works at a video store
Adult Written byAmericanplaya217 March 17, 2013
Teen, 15 years old Written bySweet home Alabama March 26, 2017

Iffy for 16+

It was a good movie
Teen, 15 years old Written byChloetreska March 16, 2017

Awesome movie

I think this movie is recommended for a 16 and up but there's 37 f bombs and 7 uses in a song 10 s words 16 c words 12 a words

What's the story?

It's the 1980s, and math genius Matt Franklin (Topher Grace) has graduated from MIT but can't decide what he wants to do with his life ... so he works at a video store. One day his old high school crush, Tori Frederking (Teresa Palmer), walks in, and to win a date with her, he lies about being a successful banker. She invites him to a party, and Matt shows up with his best friend Barry (Dan Fogler) -- a loud, precocious car salesman who has just lost his job. Accompanied by Matt's sister, Wendy (Anna Faris), they steal a car to make the ruse complete. While Barry experiments with cocaine, a dance-off, and sex with strange women, Matt must figure out a way to keep Tori interested without letting his lie get out of control.

Is it any good?

Anyone who loved Sixteen Candles back in the 1980s will love TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, too. Thanks to the fine casting and the earnest devotion to the old, all-night-party genre, the movie works its warm, funny magic and casts a spell that's both nostalgic and naughty. It's so good-natured and sweet, in fact, that somehow the heavy language, sex, and drugs don't seem particularly shocking or offensive (but that doesn't mean that it's an age-appropriate pick for younger viewers).

Grace is nicely cast as the former high school nerd, and Fogler gets to be a bit more than the goofy sidekick; he actually gets most of the movie's action. Palmer has an undeniable spark, and Faris is one of our best current screen comediennes. The combination of the four is nearly unbeatable. And Canadian director Michael Dowse balances everything admirably, despite his uneven previous movies (It's All Gone Pete Tong, etc.).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sex in the movie. What is the movie saying about sex and relationships? Do some characters have more meaningful experiences than others? What message does that send?

  • Barry tries cocaine -- as well as alcohol -- after a terrible day in which he loses his job. Is that an excuse for his behavior? What kinds of consequences could that have had in real life?

  • Why would Matt be afraid of doing something with his life? Why is he hiding? Does that make him more sympathetic or relatable?

  • Who do you think this movie is intended to appeal to -- today's teens or older audiences who were teens/young adults during the '80s? Why?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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