The premise of the brand new Netflix film The Sleepover, directed by Trish Sie, ought to sound acquainted to anybody who’s watched Spy Kids: Kids assume dad and mom are boring, dad and mom out of the blue get kidnapped, children uncover dad and mom’ action-packed different life, children set out on a rescue mission. There are a couple of twists on the formulation, however the largest distinction between The Sleepover and Spy Kids is that, in The Sleepover, the dad and mom are the compelling characters.
Malin Åkerman and Ken Marino star as Margot and Ron Finch, a stay-at-home mother and a pastry chef whose children Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) see them as whole squares. Clancy, who needs to change into knowledgeable cellist (however extra importantly to attend a celebration thrown by the boy she has a crush on) resents her mom for not letting her have a cellphone. The cause for Margot’s strict guidelines quickly turns into clear when a viral video of Kevin dancing attracts the eye of shady figures from Margot’s previous life.
When Margot and Ron are kidnapped on the exact same evening that Kevin is having a sleepover along with his neurotic good friend Lewis (Lucas Jaye), and Clancy plans to sneak out to the get together together with her good friend Mimi (Cree Cicchino), the 4 children are compelled to band collectively to get Margot and Ron again. This is the place one of many different massive variations kicks in: Margot had a previous life as a grasp thief, however Ron actually is only a pastry chef. The revelation that Margot isn’t who she says she is hits him simply as laborious because it does their kids, if not more durable provided that their kidnappers need her to re-team together with her outdated boyfriend Leo (Joe Manganiello) to tug off one final job.
Ron’s wrestle with the spark that also exists between his spouse and the ultra-hunky Leo sends The Sleepover veering into romantic comedy territory, and Marino steps as much as flip a largely thankless function into the film’s most fascinating topic. The children get extra jokes and gags — an unintentional viral second does nothing to dampen Kevin’s spirits — however the adults simply have extra happening, and extra possibilities for real laughs. The children accept compelled moments like Kevin’s euphoria at feeling a boob for the primary time and Lewis’ pee-detecting underwear.
Speaking of pee-detecting underwear, Lewis is probably the most grating facet of the movie. It’s unclear as as to if Sarah Rothschild’s script known as for Lewis and his mom (Marissa Carpio) to be Asian, however her overprotective, tiger-mom nature comes throughout as an unlucky stereotype, as do Lewis’ vocal adherence to the foundations his mom has set and his nerdy nature. That he doesn’t function within the adults’ storyline solely makes sticking with the grown-ups that rather more interesting. Of the children, Simkins stands out. His performing is (nearly all the time) probably the most pure, and he’s a startlingly good dancer, which makes the compelled plot gadget of the viral video a bit of simpler to let slide.
But Marino steals the present. He’s admirably dedicated to a component that principally calls for for him to humiliate himself by vomiting and pooping in public, and faux that he isn’t a wonderfully good-looking man. Manganiello additionally acquits himself nicely in a task that, have been The Sleepover a blockbuster and never a Netflix unique, would in all probability have been performed by Chris Hemsworth, displaying off comedian chops which have, up to now, been underutilized.
Everything about The Sleepover is completely serviceable for a comedy for the entire household. There’s no overt fantasy ingredient current the way in which there’s in Spy Kids (keep in mind the Thumb-Thumbs?), nor are there any notable twists, and the fixed switching between grownup and child storylines, whereas maybe sufficient to maintain viewers members of each ages entertained, has the impact of constructing each really feel a bit of skinny. In different phrases, it’s simply sufficient leisure to supply fodder for one diverting sleepover, however it’ll be forgotten as quickly because the morning dawns.
The Sleepover is streaming on Netflix now.