The Myth of the American Sleepover

David Robert Mitchell, USA 2009, 97’

There are four of them. Maggie, a resolute blonde, skips out on the all-girls sleepover in favor of chasing older boys at a party. Taking her place is Claudia, the new girl in town who attracts the attention of her host’s boyfriend. Rob spends the night in search of a siren with whom he becomes infatuated after a chance encounter at the grocery. Scott seeks to dull the pain of getting dumped by spending the night with twins. The Myth of the American Sleepover is set in Detroit, though it could be Anywhere, USA, anytime. Lack of cultural signposts makes this film an impression about a youth that instead of being an appetizer before the main meal of adulthood, becomes the best time of their lives.

Director David Robert Mitchell uses the sleepover antics to tell a story about adolescence and self-discovery. Lacking the fireworks purveyed by teen-slasher films, the emotional ride of dramas or slapstick of teen comedies, Mitchell subtly shepherds his story along, frequently returning through the thicket of the plot to the four main characters – after all, adolescence is a community experience. Individualization is the first step toward adulthood, a process reflected in the film through dual narration weaved from group scenes and intimate portraits. Ever-present water is a symbolic theme in Mitchell’s story, a touchstone for the end of youth and entry into adulthood.

Samuel Nowak


SXSW FF 2010 – special jury award, Deauville American FF 2010 – jury prize

David Robert Mitchell

American director and scriptwriter, born 1972 in Detroit. He began shooting amateur films in high school. After college in Michigan, Mitchell completed Florida State University’s graduate film program. While in graduate school, he began work on his feature-length debut The Myth of the American Sleepover. After completing FSU, he moved to Los Angeles, where he is currently working on a project he hopes to complete with current producer Adele Romanski. ranks Mitchell in the top 25 of the most interesting directors of new American cinema.


2002 Virgin (kr. m. / short)

2009 Legendarne amerykańskie pidżama party / The Myth of the American Sleepover

Cast & Crew

director David Robert Mitchell
screenplay David Rober Mitchell
cinematography James Laxton
editing Julio C. Perez IV
music Kyle Newsmaster, William Ryan Fritch
cast Claire Sloma, Marlon Morton, Amanda Bauer, Brett Jacobsen, Nikita Ramsey, Jade Ramsey, Annette DeNoyer, Wyatt McCallum, Mary Wardell, Doug Diedrich, Dane Jones, Shayla Curran
producer Adele Romanski
production Roman Spring Pictures
sales Visit Films
language English
coloration colour
stay in touch
festival partners