Alexa Vega – the girl component of Spy Kids – gets her own teenage vehicle, and it’s the sort of film it’s very easy to be snarky about, especially if you’re not the target audience. It’s the usual teen/tween fare, in fact, about girls who are obsessed with friends, boyfriends and status and focusing on Alexa and her mates who must embark on a scavenger hunt against the film’s obligatory Rich Bitches to win a treasure hunt. The hunt itself has no importance except to keep the film going but then there are a lot of films that use the flimsiest of pretexts to keep things bubbling along. In other news, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a point of reference, if you look at Sleepover with your eyes screwed up. Though John Hughes has nothing to fear from Elisa Bell’s screenplay. If I’m making this all sound cruddy, then apologies, because it isn’t. Director Joe Nussbaum has a driving determination to keep the story piling along and he’s also a dab hand with the sight gag, and Bell has written enough smart lines to keep the support cast (including Steve Carell and Jeff Garlin) with material to work with. It’s light, bright, fairly forgettable and a lot more fun that you might expect.
© Steve Morrissey 2004