Topher Grace had a blast making Take Me Home Tonight, but how could he not? The movie, out Friday, is about one crazy, amazing night. He gets the girl and to be the hero.
It’s also the first project from Sargent Hall, his production company with best friend, Miamian Gordon Kaywin. The two met sophomore year at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire (the company is named after their dorm). In the romcom, the former That ’70s Show star, 32, plays Matt, an aimless video store clerk about 10 years after graduation who is still in love with the popular girl in high school (Teresa Palmer).
He attends the bash of a mutual friend with an out-of-control buddy (Balls of Fury’s Dan Fogler) and lies about his career to impress her. A lot of hijinks ensue, ala Dazed and Confused movies and their ilk. That was the pals’ intention.
“We were kind of influenced by great, generational movies like John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles and Breakfast Club or American Graffiti. When there was that magic moment that happened,’’ said Grace at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. “They’re not really comedies or dramas. They have everything.’’
Take Me Home Tonight is set in 1988, and the ’80s drug of choice, cocaine, also plays a supporting role. Not to the extent it did in, say, Less Than Zero, but Fogler hits the lines pretty hard, a few hours after he steals a car. Did Grace and Kaywin get into this sort of trouble?
Kaywin, 31, admitted he has had his share of good times. “My parents thought it would be an interesting idea to get a beach condo on 51st and Collins when I was in high school, which I thought was a fantastic idea,’’ he said. “I ended up using it all the time. This was the heyday of Miami’s crazy megaclubs like Liquid. We would meet up on the beach and stay up all night.’’ The experience prepared him for the real world. “If you partied there, then nothing is really going to touch it,’’ said Kaywin, who attended Pinecrest and Gulliver academies and still visits his folks in Coral Gables often. “It’s up there; Miami can hold its own.’’