Release Date: July 22, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Sundance Selects
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Jade Ramsey, Amy Seimetz, Nikita Ramsey, Amanda Bauer, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Claire Sloma
Genre: Comedy, Romance
American experience. This low budget independent coming of age comedy from writer/director David Robert Mitchell explores the usual themes of angst, friendship, and the search for love. Set in Detroit on the last weekend of the summer holidays before the kids return to school, the film draws upon Mitchell’s own memories of his adolescence. There are a number of sleepovers, slumber parties and pool parties happening. The film follows four – Rob, Scott, Maggie and Claudia – as they hang out, talk about their fears and insecurities, crushes, and look for that elusive first kiss.
However, unlike most comedies aimed at an adolescent audience this low-key film eschews the usual cheap scatological and puerile humour, opting for a more in depth exploration of their concerns. Mitchell demonstrates a strong understanding of adolescent emotions and desires that brings credibility to the material, and it reeks with a strong sense of nostalgia. Mitchell maintains a deceptively meandering pace as he juggles the multiple narrative strands and moves seamlessly between the various characters. The dialogue rings true, and Mitchell teases natural performances from his unknown ensemble cast. The Myth Of The American Sleepover is an honest and affirmative coming of age film that resonates.
The hormone-powered joys and pains of an all-night adolescent hangout fuel “The Myth of the American Sleepover,” a movie that tries and fails to channel the indelibly dreamy mood of Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides.” Well-intentioned but derivative and only intermittently engaging, the suburban Michigan-set indie hits at least as many false notes as true ones, and the dozen-odd young newcomers in its cast — winners of an ensemble award at SXSW — don’t always act awkward by intention. The unlikelihood of ticketbuyers and strong mainstream reviews could crash “Sleepover’s” shot at domestic pickup.
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