- Katie Bell
The Sleepover (2020)
The Sleepover (2020) follows a family of four (as well as two friends and one ex) on an overnight adventure. Mom and Dad have been abducted, and it's up to the kids to get their parents back!
This is a fun group of characters. Margot (Malin Akerman) appears to be a plain old mum who does volunteer lunch duty throughout the week, however it is very quickly revealed that she is actually in witness protection and used to be an experienced thief. Dad (Ken Marino) is a pastry chef, who does carpool pick up and exercises his fingers while he's at it. (This really threw me back to a Thank God You're Here improvisation where Fifi Box claimed that the fingers are often neglected in exercise). Clancy (Sadie Stanley) is the eldest daughter, a cellist and is brave enough to wear white double denim (it feels as though she's doubling down on danger). While Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) is the youngest of the family. He enjoys telling fibs, failing at high fives and performing the worm on bathroom floors directly beside urinals. Then there's the characters played by Cree Cicchino, Lucas Jaye and Joe Manganiello...
This core cast of seven and their interactions, make for a great deal of fun, and I'm not going to lie, some laugh-out-loud jokes. It's true that this film has its fair share of corny moments, but these are far outweighed by funny ones. There are few films that will make me laugh out loud, and even fewer that are made for children, but this one managed it. So much so, that most of my notes are just jokes that I've enjoyed and written down. Pretty darn useless really, when it comes to writing a spoiler-free review.
While this film gets plenty of credit for it's cast and their performances, is it my favourite film ever? Not really. As I've already said, the corniness was a bit much at times. Some of the fight choreography felt a bit clunky? Although, to be fair, the fighting was done by people who'd largely been out of the theft business for a decade and a half. Additionally, what possibly made the fight scenes even worse, was the choice of music. Now, maybe I'm being harsh, but I have no idea what a remake of I Want Candy was doing in a fight scene. Perhaps "Candy" is no longer a girl "who's tough but sweet", and is instead a metaphor for the crown that they are trying to steal. Or perhaps "Candy" is representative of the Mom, who everyone now realises "can't be beat"...either way, it seems weird...
On the whole, if you are looking for something to watch with the kids, and you have a Netflix subscription, this isn't a bad choice. It's fun and it'll make you laugh.