Making the Grades
Leaving the familiarity of junior high and heading into high school can be an intimidating venture, especially if you aren't one of the popular girls. For Julie and her friends, their lack of social status means they'll be eating at the losers' table, next to the dumpster, when their freshman year begins. There, instead of sitting with the cool kids on the coveted benches by the fountain.
Resigned to her future fate, Julie (Alexa Vega) still wants to celebrate her graduation from eighth grade with a party and invites three friends (Mika Boorem, Scout Taylor-Compton, Kallie Flynn Childress) over for the night.
However, Julie's mom (Jane Lynch), who already has plans for the evening, isn't too excited about leaving the girls at home with her husband (Jeff Garlin) who is preoccupied with repairing the kitchen sink. So before heading out with her girlfriends, she gives the foursome some strict rules about what they can and can't do.
Of course, all is well until Staci (Sara Paxton) shows up at the front door with a proposition. The popular rival and her friends (Katija Pevec, Brie Larson, Eileen April Boylan) want to challenge Julie's group to an all-night scavenger hunt. The winners will get rights to the sought-after lunch seats.
But competing in the game means breaking every one of the party rules.
Bribing her older brother (Sam Huntington) into covering for them, the four girls pinch a car, sneak into an adult club for a drink and break into a house to snatch a pair of underwear, all while outrunning a bumbling security officer.
While this may seem like the perfect coming of age movie for 0x2018tweens, the story offers little in the way of reality. The difference between driving a car around an empty parking lot and on a city street is huge. Equally unbelievable is the 14-year-olds' ability to con their way past the bouncers and into the bar.
However, the real stretch in this script may be making young girls believe their social standing can be improved merely by winning a contest against a group of their peers, or the idea that the high school hottie (Sean Faris)---who already has a gaggle of girls lined up for his attention--would even notice a middle school graduate.
The pals are also able to avoid trouble by coming up with a fabricated story to explain the house damage caused by their escape. And though Mom is highly suspicious of their accounts, she eventually brushes it off, leaving the girls completely consequence free.
While developing a healthy self-concept is important for early teens, these girls seem to have little self-worth until they have a guy by their side. And since getting a boyfriend means disregarding all the house rules, there is likely very little action in this film that parents will want mimicked at their own daughter's Sleepover.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Sleepover.
Why did Julie feel justified in sneaking out of the house to participate in the scavenger hunt? Were her reasons good ones?
What was Julies biggest concern about going into high school? Do you think that the events of this movie would really make her more popular? Which girl in the movie do you relate to the most?