It’s easy to compare Myth of the American Sleep Over, the debut film by David Robert Mitchell, to Rickard Linklater’s classic take on high school Dazed and Confused. It’s easy, yes, but also pretty damn accurate.
Myth of the American Sleep Over focuses on a group of teens in the Detroit suburbs clinging to the last few days of summer, searching for romance.
Comprised of unknown actors, and set in some unknown year (based on the model of cars being driven, the clothes and lack of cell phones, I’d have to say late 80’s or early 90’s), the film is refreshingly innocent and relies more on great writing than snarky dialogue (a calling card for most modern teen movies) to propel the story forward. The characters are linked together in a chain with one teen’s search for love leading to another and on and on. One boy spends the night searching for a girl he saw earlier in the day at a grocery store, leading him and his buddies to visit a neighborhood sleepover in search of the mystery girl, where the story picks up on another girl, relatively new to town, finding out that her boyfriend had a relationship with someone at the party.
Mitchell does a brilliant job of capturing both the endless optimism and painful awkwardness of teenage romance. If nothing else, Myth of the American Sleep Over is a stark reminder of just how lazy mainstream teenage films have gotten over the years.
Myth of the American Sleep Over/96 mins/MPI Home Video/2012