'The Myth of the American Sleepover' Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Teenagers often develop a reputation of being lazy during their summer vacations, particularly when they’re with their friends. But the young cast of the new Sundance Selects comedy-drama ‘The Myth of the American Sleepover,’ which features many high school and college teenagers in their feature-film debut, is definitely an exception. Taking about five weeks out of their summer to film the movie, which opens at New York City’s Angelika Film Center on July 22, 2011, the cast perfectly proved how dedicated teens can be when they put their minds to something.
‘The Myth of the American Sleepover’ follows four carefree teenagers, including Rob Salvati (played by Marlon Morton), Claudia (portrayed by Amanda Bauer), Maggie (played by Claire Sloma) and Scott Holland (portrayed by Brett Jacobsen), as they explore their suburban Michigan town during their last weekend of summer. Determined to find love and adventure before the new school year begins, the four teens spend the night with their friends and come to realize that these moments will later resonate as the best in their lives.
The film, which first-time director David Robert Mitchell began writing as he was finishing his MFA in Motion Picture, Television & Recording Arts at Florida State University in 2002, is light on true internal and external conflict. Mitchell seemed unconcerned with presenting difficult obstacles for the care-free characters to overcome; he has said that while plot is important, what makes movies exciting is the way they allow directors to examine and intensify the feelings everyone experiences in their lives.
But the lack of plot truly propelled the unique personalities of the four characters, allowing the audience to truly connect with them. With Rob, viewers will remember their attraction to fellow classmates as they’re set to enter high school, and their uneasiness as they contemplate how to approach them. The audience will effortlessly relate to Claudia, the new girl who questions why everyone is compelled to be friends with the conceited popular girl. Maggie represents every teen’s determination to rebel and do whatever they want to do, no matter what other people will think of them. Scott embodies everyone’s desire to look back on their life and question if the decisions they made were the right ones.
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