Sleepover

"Weak"

Sleepover Review


The 'tweenybopper moviegoer is unlikely to be savvy to the rote, one-dimensional nature of clichés like catty in-crowd queen bees, cardboard cut-out dream boys admired from a distance, and underdog cliques of pretty, outcast Everygirls -- but that's no excuse for building a whole picture around such threadbare characters and the inevitable plots that go with them.

Yet that's exactly what happens in "Sleepover," the latest example of how Hollywood can strip a halfway decent idea of any originality by saddling it with tedious stereotypes and the false hope of easy, prepackaged solutions for young girls' adolescent problems.

It's a comedy in which four "average" junior high girls (Alexa Vega, Mika Boorem, Scout Taylor-Compton and Kallie Flynn Childress), typically nervous about being accepted, are challenged by four shallow, cruel, fashionista cheerleader types (Sara Paxton and three indistinguishable minions) to a one-night, sneak-out-of-the-house scavenger hunt. The winners get to eat lunch at the "cool" table when they go on to high school next year.

Completely failing to run with the smarter possibilities presented by the adventurous premise or develop the characters personalities in any significant way, writer Elisa Bell ("Vegas Vacation") and director Joe Nussbaum (who made his name with the ingenious short "George Lucas In Love") manage only to scare up a few funny lines and stick these wholly generic girls in a handful of awkward, passably amusingly situations. Vega ("Spy Kids"), for example, gets trapped in a bland hunk's bathroom shower, with the water running, while trying to steal a pair of his boxer shorts.

But from the opening scene to the closing credits, the movie is nothing but cliché (Vega's mom is stern but loving, her dad is a dope and her brother is weird) after cliché ("How did Stacie get so popular anyway? We used to be best friends.") after cliché (during the treasure hunt they're chased by a inept rent-a-cop authority figure) after cliché (the lonely fat girl finds a lonely fat boy to love her) after cliché (the climax is at a school dance -- even though school is out for the summer).

Vega and Boorem ("Blue Crush," "Along Came a Spider") -- the two least forgettable stars -- almost inadvertently infuse "Sleepover" with a hint of sweet, sassy spirit that makes the picture sit-through-able for anyone reluctantly roped into attending with the 10- to 12-year-old girls who will no doubt be itching to see it.

But the fact is, the filmmakers could have gone for more and just flat-out didn't bother. This is obvious from the artificially staged atmosphere of nearly every scene, and it's reflected in the fact that -- through laziness, omission, and failure to follow up on themes -- "Sleepover" actually serves to reinforce the very selfish, status-symbol, stick-with-your-own-kind teen culture it's meant to decry.



Sleepover

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th July 2004

Box Office USA: $8.1M

Box Office Worldwide: 105

Budget: 100

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Troma Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 82

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Kelsey, as Riley, as Dad

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

Advertisement
The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.