Review: Take Me Home

Monterey Media: Amber Jaeger and Sam Jaeger in "Take Me Home"As the years go by, many of us learn that life as an adult isn’t exactly what we expected it to be when we were growing up. That unexpected future may come to be a gratifying existence for some, but for others, it can turn into a present that’s not so pleasant with struggles and frustrating outcomes at seemingly every turn. In situations like this, I’m sure there are a lot of people who want to do something similar to what the two lead characters in the film Take Me Home do. With barely a moment’s hesitation, they drop all that is “important” in their lives and get out-of-town in the blink of an eye.

Take Me Home begins in the bustling metropolis of New York City, where we find a young guy (Sam Jaeger) who’s just barely keeping his head above water. He’s having trouble finding a job in this section of America known for its insomnious lifestyle, plus he’s about to get tossed out of his apartment since he doesn’t have the money to keep a roof over his head. He’s remained visually optimistic about the professional endeavors in his future, but his patience declines as his frustration grows with every door that’s being slammed in his face.

After all is said and done, all he has are his boxes of items and the unregistered taxi that he owns. With the difficulties that he’s faced with, the young man decides to do what he’s done before when put in a tight spot: Turn on his taxi, drive around The Big Apple and earn a few extra bucks by picking up and dropping people off. This usually helps him financially, but tonight it may be a way to find some sort of release. And with no job and most likely nowhere to go, this yellow bucket of bolts that was once used exclusively for public transportation may now have to be the man’s makeshift place of residence for the time being.

As this guy is saying adios to his former life of struggle by getting on a road filled with potentially even more struggles, there’s a young lady who’s also having her run in with life’s cruel fate. Claire Barrow (Amber Jaeger) is a business woman who’s having quite a bad day herself. She just got word that her father has just had a heart attack and she’s starting to believe that her marriage isn’t what she thinks it is. Both pieces of news are devastating to her, but luckily its said that her father looks as if he’s going to be okay.

With her marriage being on what she perceives as shaky ground, Claire comes to the realization that she has no one else in the city of New York to help console her at this strenuous point in her life. Just to get some fresh air before she completely falls apart, the well dressed professional decides to go outside for a quick breather. She feels a strong desire to do something right now and as luck would have it, there’s a slightly banged up taxi cab sitting right across the street from where she stands on this cold, lonely night.

Without giving it a thought, Claire swiftly moves across the street and hops into the cab where she meets the young man with his own issues. Immediately after sitting down in the back seat, she begins the “conversation” by demanding that the cabby just drive. It sounds a bit odd to him, but he won’t have anything else to do for a while and he can stand to make the extra money that she’s going to have to pay him for the service, so he relents and proceeds to drive.

After driving around for a while, the young woman who’s going off her rocker determines that she wants to pay her ailing father a visit. That would be fine under normal circumstances, but it once again makes the taxi driver pause before he acts, because he resides all the way across the country in California. Claire decides to negotiate with him hesitant driver and entice him with a hefty financial incentive to agree. After that, he comes to the same conclusion after realizing how much money he’s going to be raking in after the road trip is complete.

So, the two new buddies continue on their impromptu road trip across the good ole U.S of A in an unregistered taxi cab. With a trip that spreads across thousands of miles and a handful of days, one could expect for the two to get to know each other better, but that’s not all that happens. These two not only become friendly with one another, they also have plenty of opportunities to analyze themselves and just how they got to where they are now.

This journey that they partake on is not only a physically journey, but also a journey of the spirit that puts its travelers in positions that force them to be honest about everything in their lives. As a viewer, it’s something to behold and is completely engaging as it allows you to become connected to the lead characters and their circumstances.

During the duration of Take Me Home, we get some comedy of decent quality that won’t wow you in most instances, but much of it is good and it seems genuine. They don’t rely on the familiar situations that we’ve come to expect from road trip comedies or even romantic comedies. Here, you’re viewing something that seems a bit natural as far as the emotions of the film are concerned. None of the comedy or even the romance looks like an attempt to get the viewers to laugh, cry or cheer. It’s made to look like it’s simply a part of life.

Writer/director Sam Jaeger makes just about all of it seem as heartfelt as possible¬† and you get a direct sense of that. I’d imagine that this meant a lot to him due to the fact that he not only wrote and directed Take Me Home, but he also got to star in it with Amber Jaeger, his wife in real life. I didn’t realize they were married until the credits started to roll. After I noticed that, I instantly understood the pleasant feeling that flows throughout the entire film. I’m not what you’d call a romantic kind of guy, but I can definitely appreciate the sentiments behind the creation of this flick.

When I think about it, I also love the fact that this movie doesn’t go out of its way to make any of the characters right or wrong as far as most of their behavior is concerned. This just feeds into the whole sense of reality that the movie wants its viewers to pay attention to. Some of the choices they make are reasonable and some are unreasonable, but that’s what you get when you deal with real people in real life situations. For me, that’s almost always a welcome approach when developing a movie.

Take Me Home is a film that shows why nothing bad can come out of taking a chance on watching movies that you’ve never heard of. It’s an independent film that has its own story and its own style that’s simply entertaining to watch.¬† You may watch other movies with deeper stories or more polished acting, but there aren’t too many that are this comfortable in its own skin. That’s essentially what we have in our hands with this.

Score: 3.5/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: Sam Jaeger

Cast:
Sam Jaeger
Amber Jaeger
Victor Garber
Lin Shaye
Michelle Krusiec
Brennan Elliott
Bree Turner
Cristine Rose

Film Length: 96 minutes

Release Date: March 9, 2012

Distributor: Monterey Media