[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
The Myth of the American Sleepover
Four young people navigate the suburban wonderland of metro-Detroit looking for love and adventure on the last weekend of summer.
A lyrical and distinctively gorgeous tone poem of disillusionment and raging hormones; David Robert Mitchell's The Myth of the American Sleepover dives into the melancholy and the honesty within the darkness of the summer months, as teenagers roam freely in a state of searching and yearning for connection.
While some of the acting is borderline amateurish and a couple of the character arcs aren't as satisfying as they're meant to be, the rest is a solid and beautifully defined work of feeling and emotional discovery. Characters talk, fight, flirt, smoke, drink, and seek, with some individuals discovering more than others, often in unexpected ways. The result is a film of remarkable truth, laden within shots of breathtaking simplicity and nostalgic resonance.
As a first feature, It's damn good. Just on its own, The Myth of the American Sleepover is still damn good. Recommended for all fans of exceptional indies and simple cinema.
Ouch. That's the sound of my heart filling up with the immense power of nostalgia. David Robert Mitchell's debut feature evokes an aura of sadness, not in a negative way mind you, but of a time no longer present and may never be again. A time of exploration, fun, perpetual awkwardness and human connection, both primal and sensitive. All the performers here act with intoxicating naturalism, which Mitchell surrounds with a palpable atmosphere that finds the most basic interactions emitting visual poetry. Growing up has its advantages, but nothing can compare to the uninhibited folly of youth. We can only cherish the moments we had, for when we lived them, we could never fully realize how happy they made us. We just didn't have enough time for that...
The Myth of the American Sleepover feels like a failed attempt of becoming this decade's Dazed and Confused. While I still enjoyed The Myth of the American Sleepover, I still couldn't help to notice that the film feels like it stole certain narrative points from Richard Linklater's 1993 masterpiece, Dazed and Confused.
A large majority of the performances felt rather too nonchalant along with the actor's characters. The movie arranges forced, coincidental moments that were too good to be true. But ignoring those flaws I was still very entertained throughout the flick.
The authenticity brought to the stage in The Myth of the American Sleepover was on full display. Even though the film could feel kinda inconsistent with its realism,…
It's both melancholic as the recent Palo Alto and delightful as John Hughes' works. Most characters seem really shallow, but you can see how these small experiences are slowly making them more mature. The directing is well above-average for this kind of film and it captures perfectly the weirdness and sweetness of this period of life.
It feels like a way too closely controlled observation of the middle school/high school/real life transition. It's David Robert Mitchell's first feature film and it feels very amateurish at times. I may be totally off base here, but to me it felt like a case of over-directing. Instead of letting kids be kids, it turns into let kids read lines. A little improvisation with this age group can go a long way.
But as I said, maybe I'm wrong. I don't think he had much to work with so maybe we got the best possible outcome. At that point though, I think some recasting may be in order. These kids act more like robots than they do middle schoolers. And…
I'm such an idiot
The Myth of the American Sleepover is sort of a mumble core attempt at a coming of age film. There's a group of kids in a suburban neighborhood hanging out, talking about their fear of the future, discovering their sexuality, as well as finding out who their friends are.
The film attempts to replicate Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" but the acting is quite forced and the dialogue is dry.
young and restless
Charmingly amateurish. Good awkward. A gorgeous cast assembly.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
simultaneously the horniest and most repressed film i've ever watched. genuinely uncomfortable. it tries to be linklater without any of the dialogue, with a clear demographic in mind: the sensitive and unfulfilled high school kid. it's the anti-american pie. it might have achieved being comforting to that demographic if it were in any way real.
if you're creating a parallel universe with no adults, no technology and teenagers with infinite stamina at least make them somewhat interesting. they're all mewling shoegazers with the sensibilities of abused orphans. that shtick is fine for one character but ALL OF THEM? humans are ANIMALS as teenagers. we see that here but they're all shackled and kept in cages for us to look at…
What's odd about David Robert Mitchell is that in two features he's proven himself to be the preeminent American auteur for movies about teenagers yet the people in his movies don't really act the way real teenagers do. Sure, they're fixated on the opposite sex, but technology is nowhere to be found (seriously, no phones, no computers, no video games, no Facebook talk), they watch television programs that *nobody* watches, and they're often somber, thoughtful types who worry about the fleeting nature of youth. (Also like It Follows, there are zero parents.) It's clear that Mitchell is creating a universe in which teens talk and act in a more sophisticated manner than they do in reality, and in doing that,…
I'm sure this isn't unique to my experience of this film, but it really tapped into my nostalgia for suburban high school days and nights. This was a wonderfully shot film; there were some great tracking shots, and I loved the b-roll footage of suburbia at its finest and dullest. I thought the sound was great too, particularly the sound mixing during the waterslide scene between one of the main characters and her suitor. I think, to its credit and detriment, this film (and one of the lead actors) meanders and wanders aimlessly about, but that is definitely true to some high school nights.
One of the best coming of age flicks to come out of the last decade. I really can't think of a better film of its type besides possibly Short Term 12 and that would be a excessive stretch at that. Check this one out, folks.
To be perfectly frank, Myth of the American Sleepover > It Follows.
Slightly amateur, but awkward and earnest (both compliments). David Robert Mitchell does a remarkable job juggling multiple characters while keeping them connected. Some solid moments that prove Mitchell is capable of some amazing stuff; I'm looking forward to watching him develop as a writer/director. As an aside, are there areas in the Midwest where these group summer-end sleepovers are a thing?
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