Apart from referring to the activities that the characters do when the main conflict occurs, the title “The Sleepover” also fits the movie description. A spectacle that is suitable to be enjoyed while staying at a friend’s house, enjoying snacks, throwing jokes at each other, and only needing to look at the screen every few times without having to worry about missing important things. Great fun. But the next time you stay, you won’t watch it again.
Imagine Spy Kids (2001), but with technological sophistication and reduced levels of imagination. Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) is a child victim of school bullying. After the video of her dancing in the toilet went viral, the mockery got even more crowded. Meanwhile her brother, Clancy (Sadie Stanley), is embarrassed by the restraints of their mother, Margot (Malin Åkerman), who doesn’t even allow her to have a cellphone. Meanwhile, his father, Ron (Ken Marino), is a nerdy figure who always obeys what his wife says. Best Movie Site
Then came the night which completely changed the siblings’ perception of the mother. Kevin’s friend, Lewis (Lucas Jaye), comes to stay over. Lewis is a kid who lives by his mother’s strange rules, including trivial matters such as the ban on eating cheese, etc. In fact, he is obliged to wear special trousers equipped with an alarm, which will sound if he wet the bed. In essence, Lewis functions as running jokes.
At the same time, Clancy, who is sentenced after an argument with Margot, plans to run away with his best friend, Mim (Cree Cicchino), to attend a party at the house of his favorite man, Travis (Matthew Grimaldi). The four of them plan to disintegrate when they learn that Margot and Ron were kidnapped. But the surprises didn’t stop. Margot, who seems to be old-fashioned, seems to be the most famous thief in his youth. Now, he is forced back to work with his former fiancé and criminal partner, Leo (Joe Manganiello), to steal a crown.
Like other films with a similar theme, Kevin and Clancy decide to follow Margot’s lead and try to free their own parents. Don’t they have a choice? Not really. Henry (Erik Griffin), US Marshals who has long served to protect Margot, comes to offer help. Even later they meet Jay (Karla Souza), a thief who is also Margot’s old friend. But in her script writing debut, Sarah Rothschild insisted in various ridiculous ways that the four boys struggle alone. It seems more stupid than a form of touching sacrifice for the sake of the family.
Light. That’s what The Sleepover is. The word “easy” is key. The puzzle-solving adventure of the children’s version of The Da Vinci Code is kept easy to understand. Coincidences that facilitate problem solving are often encountered. Something that even the character had time to realize himself. Even at one point, when the script needed him to get rid of the obstacles he faced, Lewis suddenly decided to break free from his mother’s restrictions, even though less than five minutes earlier, he had just complained about the prohibition of taking public transportation alone.
The holes above are a form of lazy writing, even in the realm of light entertainment like this, which usually still tries to present reasons, whether logical or not. Therefore, The Sleepover should be grateful to the cast members who have sufficient talent to turn mediocre material into humor that is enough to provoke laughter. Especially Simkins and Jaye. Of course, both appearances are hyperbolic for the sake of comedy, but not to the point of creating a typical “annoying kid” character. The two of them remain likeable, making the audience feel at home spending the trip together. Cicchino is also no less entertaining thanks to the occasional chatter with sarcasm. Movie Review
It is not a surprise when Manganiello, with his posture and charisma, looks convincing as he plays a tough criminal who can beat enemies as easily as turning a palm. But like Margot’s daughters, I was mesmerized by watching Åkerman perform action scenes, which bring back memories of a decade ago when the actress wore the Silk Specter costume on Watchmen.
Aside from entertainment, The Sleepover carries a family message about a wife and mother, who is willing to leave her “interesting” past behind, for the sake of “boring” domestic life based on love for family. The problem is with Ron’s character. The film tries to make the audience support the silly, annoying man who has repeatedly threatened the continuation of this mission rather than Leo. Rothschild also seems to realize this impossibility, so he feels the need to force a twist in order to “lower the value” Leo.
But forget about the weak delivery of the message. Forget about the holes in the story too. At least as a director, Trish Sie (Step Up: All In, Pitch Perfect 3) is able to present entertainment with awake pacing that continues to move from one point to the next without much ado. But of course, once the duration ends, The Sleepover will be forgotten at once. Top Movie