The Sleepover is the type of family adventure-comedy that fits perfectly well on the Netflix platform and should be able to find an audience.
It’s hard to truly describe the type of film that The Sleepover is without giving it away. It’s a fun film that honestly blends genres. There’s something for everyone, really, unless comedies aren’t your thing. I mean, who doesn’t love a solid family adventure-comedy?!?
The gist of the film is that two siblings, Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and Kevin (Maxwell Simkins), learn that their mother, Margot (Malin Åkerman) is a former thief. Not only is she a thief but she’s hiding in witness protection. But when both their mom and dad, Ron (Ken Marino), get kidnapped to pull a final job–such a cliche for the genre–it’s up to them to rescue her.
Clancy and Kevin aren’t at it alone. They’re joined by Mim (Cree Cicchino) and Lewis (Lucas Jaye). Clancy also gets some help during the action-packed night by a high school crush.
Trish Sie is the same director behind the helm of Pitch Perfect 3. While that particular installment wasn’t my favorite, it did show that Sie has a knack for action comedy. And where action comedy didn’t quite fit the Pitch Perfect brand, Sie’s direction proves to be a perfect fit for the Sarah Rothschild-penned comedy. Interestingly enough, this is the filmmaker’s first film since the a capella comedy.
Kim Possible veteran Sadie Stanley is back with another leading role. The actress certainly does a solid job with the material. I also feel like Clancy is the type of character that we’ve seen in many films. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She’s the kid whose parents never give them a cell phone? Check. Meanwhile, Maxwell Simkins gets a shining moment early in the film. Is Kevin annoying? Yes. But what family doesn’t come with an annoying younger sibling!
It’s nice to see Childrens Hospital alumni Ken Marino and Malin Åkerman together again. The two display great chemistry together. Where Åkerman gets opportunity to kick ass, Marino gets a lot of opportunities to display his comedy chops.
Sure, the film does play into familiar tropes but they also change things up for a new generation. Listen, I’m not going to go as far as calling this film the new Goonies but it’s certainly a fun adventure. Moreover, don’t let the 1:43 run time fool you because the final eight minutes are nothing but credits. What we’re really looking at is a film that just barely goes over an hour and a half.
The Sleepover is the family adventure-comedy for a new generation.
DIRECTOR: Trish Sie
SCREENWRITER: Sarah Rothschild
CAST: Sadie Stanley, Maxwell Simkins, Ken Marino, Cree Cicchino, Lucas Jaye, Karla Souza, Enuka Okuma, Erik Griffin, with Joe Manganiello and Malin Åkerman