Sleepover (2004)


In the age of Laguna Beach, Paris Hilton, American Idol, and MTV, we have yet another teen craporama further adding fuel to the fire influencing our youth of America that all that matters in life is beauty, style, fashion, style, beauty, and being defiant because it’s so damn lovable. Disobey your parents. Look beautiful and thin as a wafer. Care what people say about you. Such undertones and hidden messages can be found in trash like “Sleepover.” “Sleepover” declares such vapid sentiment loud and clear with underage girls without a brain, under age girls painted in makeup and wearing skimpy clothing because–hey it’s like totally cool.

There are emo remakes of old songs, and underage girls breaking the law because it’s funny. But that’s not the only thing I saw, I saw the incredibly unfunny end of many careers that never really started to begin with. The complex plot involves four tarts celebrating a sleep over on the night of the end of school year which means going to high school the next year. Julie is mad her best friend Hannah is moving, so as one last fling, they go on a scavenger hunt. Hilarity ensues. I use the term in the loosest sense. And, am I the only one who noticed Vega’s looks really make her look un-ethnic? With light brown hair, and a lighter complexion they seem to really want to go away from her Hispanic roots, and as always there’s your usual entourage of preteen girls, including your token heavy girl to add a balance to the superficial parade prepubescent stars.

There’s your forgettable love interest (Funny how these interchangeable love interests are always introduced in slow motion shots with their hair waving in the wind), and as always the adults are uncool, inept, stupid, and ignored, while the kids are “lovably” defiant, “lovably” spoiled, “lovably” stupid, “lovably” obnoxious, “lovably” shallow, and “lovably” law breaking. And not to mention “Sleepover” follows every single cliché and plot device in the book that you could ever come up with, and here were some notes I took: The most popular girl in school is a blonde skinny tart, the loving caring and decent parents are depicted as villains. Julie, the heroine, is self-absorbed, self-centered, and spoiled, and we’re supposed to root for her. Even after knowing her daughter sneaks out, broke the law, stole a car, stole from her, went to a nightclub, met a very older man, was out all night, risking possible death, and vandalized a store, her mother lets her slide because “she’s all grown up now.”

Beyond that, were the more unnerving questions never answered. Was I the only one who sensed the statutory rape themes throughout the entire film? Was it just me? What school aligns lunch tables outside next to a garbage dump? Wouldn’t a teacher who met with a younger girl even accidentally, was spotted with her at a nightclub where she was under aged, bought her a drink, and then volunteered to take a picture with her, at some point get in deep trouble and even be fired? But the individual aspects all come together in one really awful piece of trash with horrible performances all around, including from star Vega who is just offensively terrible. Throw in your comedic relief, and obligatory villain (Steve Carrell–what in the mustached Christ are you doing in this?), horrible dialogue, and a laughably contrived climax set to a blaring emo rock soundtrack that had me near tears. Not good tears, but painful tears. Not even “New York Minute” had me on the verge of tears you have to give it to “Sleepover” for that feat.