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Movie Review

Sleepover

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements involving teen dating, some sensuality and language

Reviewed by: Rosemarie Ute Hoffman
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Pre-teens
Genre:
Comedy, Female, Teen
Length:
1 hr. 22 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
______
Copyright, MGM
Copyright, MGM
Copyright, MGM
Relevant Issues
Copyright, MGM

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Featuring: Alexa Vega, Mika Boorem, Scout Taylor-Compton, Kally Flynn Childress, Sam Huntington
Director: Joe Nussbaum, John Sullivan
Distributor: MGM

“The rules are set. The game is on.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “In the summer before their freshman year in high school, Julie (Vega) has a slumber party with her best friends, Hannah, Yancy, and Farrah—and they end up having the adventure of their lives. In attempt to cast off their less-than-cool reputations once and for all, Julie and her friends enter into an all-night scavenger hunt against their “popular girl” rivals. Sneaking into clubs, hijacking dad’s car, evading Julie’s mother, and maybe even a first kiss—anything’s possible at Julie’s Sleepover.”

Review

Sleepover is a lightweight summer flick that shows the transition from the childhood stage to the formative years. The bridge that gaps this monumental leap can be daunting. But, Julie’s Mom (Jane Lynch) does it with little angst when she gives her daughter (Alexa Vega) a doorknob with a locking mechanism as a trophy for her confession to an adolescent cause—sneaking out of the house for a night of breaking all the rules.

Julie is hosting a sleepover and invites a few good friends for a night of make-up, nail painting, dancing, and dressing up—a typical eighth-grade party. However, it is not until Stacie (Sara Paxton), a rich rival who is dumped from her jock boyfriend because she will not “hook-up” (have sex), that the evening’s agenda changes.

Stacie dials her posse to put together a list of challenges and presents the proposal to Julie and her teammates. The list includes re-dressing store mannequins, setting-up a rendezvous with an older man through a Date Safe web site at a dance club, acquiring trunks from a popular boy’s home, and to obtain the Patrol Tec’s magnetic car shield.

Hannah (Mika Boorem), Julie’s best friend, convinces the girls to participate in this all-out scavenger hunt for dibs on the fountain lunch spot during high school next fall. While none of them have a vehicle, Yancy (Kallie Flynn Childress), Julie’s teammate, offers her dad’s electric car as transportation.

As the “average girl team” meets each goal using deceit and adolescent antics, you may notice subtleties that are certainly meant for mature teens. While it is true that wearing the wrong fashion statement can make you an outcast, is there any reason to say that we live in a “suck-universe?” In addition, the “rich girl team” shows name-inscribed thongs over a web cam. Not only is sneaking into a club shocking, but how about the challenge with a text message from rivals to order the alcoholic drink “sex-on-the-beach.” After entering a young man’s home uninvited and standing in the shower, Julie stares at him as he undresses with bare back exposed and his trunks making a small pool on the floor.

Yancy discovers that she is a second choice as a sleepover guest and plays the usual role of the overweight and overlooked girl. Her love for brownies over celery is her choice, and her teammates encourage her to remain confident in who she is. In addition, through this character it is shown that there is someone for everyone. Did you know that brownies are a very important food group?

Julie is captivated with the popular boy, Steve (Sean Faris), who she spied on in the shower. However, Julie is unaware that while skateboarding through town barefoot she is observed by Steve in his car—hence, he is equally infatuated with her. And, during the rest of the flick, they are simultaneously thinking of one another. In the end, the ugly stepsister turns into Cinderella when she kisses Prince Charming.

As in all fairy tales, getting the Prince is not enough, “average girls” win the spot at the fountain and the other team eats lunch in very close proximity to the school dumpster.

As parents, we must try to understand our children individually, and take into account their maturity levels. Though children are a gift from God, they are merely on loan. We are to govern and enforce righteousness consistently because when they are older they will not depart from it. The early years of childhood are the seed-planting years with little outward evidence of your hard work. Even so, it is many seasons later, that when children are without supervision they are able to put into action the many morals and values that have been instilled in them since day one.

Violence: None / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Mild

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—…a really cute movie with hardly anything objectionable… Alexa Vega really did a great job playing a teen girl about to enter high school. While the girls do leave the house when they’re not supposed to, and get into some mischief along the way, that is about all that is objectionable about this movie. It is a lighthearted comedy/romance that is worth seeing. There is hardly any bad language (actually, I can’t remember any bad words used at all). This movie also has a positive message that everyone is valuable, no matter how much they weigh or what size they are. There is one scene where the main character sees someone nude from behind, but nothing is shown and it is implied that she gets out of the situation before seeing anything more. Overall, cute movie, well-acted and only very, very slightly objectionable.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Nicole, age 19
Positive—…We laughed throughout the movie. As the other reviewers have said the only objectional part to the movie is when Julie and her friends disobey her mothers sleepover rules. But other than that it was magnificent. This movie is geared toward 13 year olds as we were the only older teenagers in the theatre… Great movie recommend for the entire family.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Erin, age 19

Comments from young people
Positive—This movie basically had nothing wrong with it except when they disobey their mother. It sends out a positive message that you are special no matter what your size.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Elizabeth, age 10
Positive—I loved this movie! I think it’s geared more towards pre-teens and teens then young children! you might not like how they don’t get in trouble and how the girl played by Alexa Vega gets rewarded at the end of the movie!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Ashley, age 11
Positive—All in all I loved this movie. It’s a very good movie for a girls night out, I know because I watched it with my 2 sisters and my mom. The only slightly objectional thing was when the guy that Alexia Vega likes takes off his boxers, and she is in the shower watching. They never show anything other then that. Overall I loved this movie! Go and rent it!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Rachel, age 13
Positive—This movie was slightly objectionable in about two scene’s. One the girls are teenagers that are on a scavenger hunt. the girls have two things on the list that are very wrong! 1. They have to get a mystery date on the computer and 2.Get there date to bye them a drink and take a picture of you drinking it. And 3. Steal a guy’s boxers (But while she goes to get them you see his butt). But he doesn’t know! They also do things that are against the law! Without all that in the movie it is very, very good!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Samantha, age 10
Positive—Sleepover is a good movie but it has some conflict with rebellion. Her mom tells her not to leave the house, but she does anyway and as one of their dares that have to go to an online dating service and have them meet them at a bar. But besides that it is really good.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Stephanie Swientek, age 16
Positive—I liked this movie. I thought it was better then 13 Going On 30. I laugh throughout the whole movie.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Whitney, age 16
Positive—I believe that this movie was more pre-teen based. As the girls in the movie were just getting out of junior high, they decide to have some fun. I didn’t see anything objectionable in this movie other than the fact of Julie (Alexa Vega) and her friends disobey her mom’s sleepover rules such as “Don’t leave the house, don’t have the music too loud, etc.” Overall I found it as a very cute movie.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Katie, age 15
Positive—As a 13 year old who doesn’t really like chick movies, I decided to go with my friends to see the movie anyway. This wasn’t all chick movie; sure it was based on it. but it was hilarious! I think that the guy she was going for was way too old for her, but other than that I was total comfortable with the movie!
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Miaka, age 13
Negative—This movie is unrealistic and mindless! When the girls steal their dad’s car and crash, they aren’t caught and never get in trouble once! The get off scot-free, she ends up with the cute guy at the end and adults are made to look like idiots! Doesn’t God want us to respect authority figures? There was nothing in this film that raised any interesting questions or even made a very good point! I saw Mean Girls, and it may have had some objectionable content, but at least it gave girls something to think about! Sorry, but I have a brain and I’d rather see something that will feed it rather than endure this pandering predictably cliche chick flick.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/1]
—Nicole Iseli, age 14
Positive—I loved this movie; the storyline was wonderful, and there was nothing offensive about it. I can’t wait to buy it!
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Allison, age 14