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Topher Grace greets crowd at advance screening of "Take Me Home Tonight" in Knoxville, TN Topher Grace and Betsy Pickle following advance screening of "Take Me Home Tonight" in Knoxville, TN Topher Grace showed “Take Me Home Tonight” to executives of Regal Entertainment Group, the media and fans who had gotten free tickets to Wednesday’s screening. After the film, Betsy Pickle moderated a Q&A session with Topher at the Regal Cinemas Pinnacle 18 in Knoxville.

“Take Me Home Tonight” is an R-rated homage to John Hughes movies of the 1980s. Topher said they wanted it to look as if it were made in the ’80s and locked away in a vault until now. One supporting character wore a KROQ t-shirt in all his scenes. A KROQ sticker was shown in the opening title sequence. The soundtrack was filled with songs that probably debuted on the Roq of the ’80s and have withstood the test of time.

Set in 1988, Topher plays a recent graduate of MIT who works at Sun Coast Video and is trying to figure out what to do with his life. He bluffs his way into an amazing evening with his high school crush by telling her he works for Goldman-Sachs. Anna Faris plays his twin sister. Teresa Palmer plays the object of his affection, Tori Frederking. Dan Fogler plays Topher’s friend who goes wild with many of the excesses of the ’80s.

A weird character named Francis had me mistakenly thinking that he resembled an older version of the guy who played Francis in “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” In fact, the actor is named Clement von Franckenstein. Really. There are cameo appearances by Bob Odenkirk, Demetri Martin and Michael Ian Black.

They put extra effort into giving Tori a phone number that wasn’t a 555 number. When the movie ended, I dialed it and found it to be a non-working number at NBC Universal. I hope they put a funny or clever message on it when the movie opens on March 4th.

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