Spy Kids' Alexa Vega stars as a young girl who teams up with her pals for an all-night scavenger hunt against the "popular girls" in Sleepover, a title that wants to have the appeal and charm of Mean Girls, but turns out to be another unfunny "teenie bopper" comedy.
As teenage comedies go, this one has just about every cliché you can get into a 90-minute film: the nice girls, the mean girls, the hot hunk, the dumb brother, the geek, the fat girl, the unsuspecting parent, the screwball policeman, the bored reviewer…oh wait, that last one was just me! The film is so formulaic that it's hard to either love it or hate it…it's just rather "blah" – although the teen audience for which it is intended might be more forgiving than this middle-aged DVD reviewer.
Vega is the most notable star in Sleepover and she's the only one worth watching, as well. She has a definite charm about her, and one only wishes she had been given a better vehicle for her first lead role. I think one of the problems with the movie is that the kids in it don't sound like real kids…they sound like a sitcom version of young kids, and that's why the movie just didn't click with me the way that others of this genre have.
Still, the film itself is rather harmless and perhaps worth a rental if you have a young girl in your family who is about the age of the characters in this film. Although I found the movie dull and unimaginative, I'll also give it credit for not being either sexually explicit or overly crude – as far too many "teenage" movies these days are. Parents don't need to worry about any sexual material (other than an old fashioned schoolgirl crush) or excessive foul language should they want to pick this one up for the family.
The movie is presented in the anamorphic widescreen format at the 1.85:1 ratio. The quality of the transfer is rather average, with a "soft" look to the film and some occasional dirt and grain evident on the print…but nothing that became a distraction.
The English language tracks here comes in 5.1 Dolby, with optional 2.0 French and Spanish tracks also available. The 5.1 track is rather subdued, even though there's a lot of music selections playing in the background during most of the movie as part of the soundtrack. In fact, I didn't find this 5.1 track a whole lot more impressive than a well-done 2.0 track.
Although Sleepover was far from a box office success, MGM has done a nice job with the bonus material on this DVD.
For starters, there's a Feature Length Commentary Track with director Joe Nussbaum (who, believe it or not, was also the director of the very funny short film George Lucas In Love), as well as a few of the female cast members, including Alexa Vega. There's also a featurette entitled A Guide To The Perfect Sleepover, which serves as a behind the scenes look at the making of the film.
The DVD is also peppered with a number of other shorter featurettes, including Meet The Girls which consists of interviews with four of the stars; Ready, Set, Action, another short behind the scenes segment; Sleepover Confessions, where the stars talk about their own real-life sleepover experiences; and a five-minute Gag Reel.
Rounding out the DVD are a Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery; the original Theatrical Trailer (which is anamorphic); and some Trailers for other MGM releases. There's also a hidden Easter Egg on the first page of the menu section, should you want to search for it (it's some additional outtake footage).
THE BOTTOM LINE
As noted in my review above, this is a rather lackluster but harmless movie. I'm not recommending it, but then again I'm not really the target audience for it either. At the very least, you should think about renting before purchasing.