When a film sits on a shelf waiting to get released, the general consensus is that it’s a stinker. With filming wrapped way, way back in 2007 for “Take Me Home Tonight” (known at the time as “Kids In America“), and as each year passed with no news of a release date, we pretty much figured it was a misfire and the studio was simply waiting to dump it with an early winter no man’s land of a release date or straight-to-home video. And then we saw the trailer. And to our pleasant surprise it looks like a lot of fun, and speaking with MTV, executive producer and actor Topher Grace reveals that the film’s delay had to do with some dicey drug scenes, not necessarily the quality of the film.
“It tested really well,” Grace said. “It’s an audience film. It’s not drama, but there was a real hesitation because there is so much cocaine in it, and our feeling at the time was, ‘You can’t do a movie about Prohibition without alcohol, and you really can’t do a movie about partying in the ’80s, at the age these kids are, without showing cocaine use.” The film floundered until mega-producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer from Imagine Entertainment came in and encouraged Grace to keep the cut of the film with the final boost of approval coming from Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Relativity Media, who is preparing to release the film in the spring. “He understood that you can’t make a movie like ‘Dazed and Confused‘ if it doesn’t have pot in it,” Grace said. “You just can’t; it doesn’t ring true. It’s not that real thing we talk about, and he and his team embraced it, and that’s the film we got to see.”
All in all, things worked out well for Grace and company and he enthuses the cut we’ll see in theaters is the one they wanted all along. “It’s creatively exactly what we wanted, and it’s exactly the opposite of the normal situation where stuff gets cut,” he said. “[For us] it was the opposite: We got to put stuff back in.”
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Directed by Michael Dowse (”Fubar,” “It’s All Gone Pete Tong”) — no stranger to drug use in his movies — the film chronicles the events of one crazy night in 1988 when Matt (Topher Grace) bluffs his way into a massive end-of-summer party where he hopes to impress his high school crush Tori (Teresa Palmer). And just how Richard Linklater‘s aforementioned film contained copious amounts of weed, expect lots of lines of that wacky white stuff this time around. “Take Me Home Tonight” hits theaters on March 4, 2011.