R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Joe Nussbaum
scr Elisa Bell
with Alexa Vega, Mika Boorem, Jane Lynch, Sam Huntington, Sara Paxton, Steve Carell, Jeff Garlin, Kallie Flynn Childress, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sean Faris, Evan Peters, Brie Larson
release US 9.Jul.04, UK 17.Dec.04
04/US 1h37

Keep the noise down, girls: Taylor-Compton, Vega, Boorem and Childress

vega boorem lynch
Sleepover Support Shadows: Buy a Poster
This silly film is aimed at 10-year-old girls. Thanks to a few wacky set pieces, it's not quite as excruciating as it could have been for the rest of us--but parents may find it rather irresponsible.

Julie (Vega) is 14 and having her last slumber party before her best friend (Boorem) moves away. With two other friends (Childress and Taylor-Compton) they get up to the usual antics until a cool chick (Paxton) challenges them to a scavenger hunt that of course culminates at the high school dance and involves the cute boy (Faris) Julie adores from afar. With the help of her dim brother (Huntington), Julie has to outwit her parents (Lynch and Garlin) and a local supercop (Carell) to win the high-stakes contest.

The filmmakers clearly think their audience doesn't need logic or authenticity, so they just keep things moving energetically to cover their lack of imagination. How the characters get here and there in record time, coincidentally crossing paths at the right time and having every conceivable magical movie moment in one night is simply astonishing! Maybe if you're a 10-year-old girl you can get caught up in it all.

The cast is good--Vega has grown up nicely since the Spy Kids movies, and the rest fit nicely into one of two camps: cute, knowing teens and goofy, oblivious adults. Although there's far too much shameless mugging going on. But since we're going along with the fantasy, we'll try not to get upset at the way the filmmakers flout all health and safety in lieu of gooey romance and fake moral lessons. In the real world, 14-year-olds who indulged in this kind of behaviour would end up in hospital or worse.

The film gives the impression that you have to break the rules in order to grow up, which isn't exactly a positive message for the kids! On the other hand, most kids will recognise this film for the tall tale it is. It's so unbelievably preposterous that not even a small child would believe it for a second. And it's silly enough that it might provide a few giggles here and there.

cert PG themes, innuendo 26.Sep.04

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Sleepover Orchid, Ho Chi Minh City: "A very interesting film, and i think the film director should make more films like that. Especially, Alexa Vega and Sean Faris made good impression in the film. I want to see more films that have Sean and Alexa. Please introduce some films like that."
2004 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall