The Finch family of Cape Cod, Massachusetts – school cafeteria supervisor mom Margot (Malin Akerman), pastry-chef dad Ron (Ken Marino), big sister Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and goofy younger offspring Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) – conform so much to the statistical 2.4-sized white, middle-class stereotype they even have the obligatory .4 pet, a dog named Angus.
The biggest frustration for Clancy, the school band’s star cellist, is that Margot won’t let her have her own mobile phone. Kevin, meanwhile, is a bit of a fantasist who tells tall tales about his parents in class. He gets bullied by older kids who film him dancing in the bathroom (unfeasibly well, because director Trish Sie was originally a choreographer) and post the footage online where, as is the way with these things in movies, it goes viral in hours.
That evening, as his shy friend Lewis (Lucas Jaye) arrives for a sleepover and Clancy schemes to sneak out with her sassy bestie Mim (Cree Cicchino), balaclava-sporting baddies arrive at the house to abduct Margot, who battles with them hand to hand, thus revealing that she’s a former top cat burglar with ninja-level fighting skills who entered witness protection years ago. But both she and feckless Ron are kidnapped and the plucky kids decide to go find them, following clues left behind.
So, as the above will suggest, this is a family-friendly farrago of whimsical silliness, but good-hearted and fun, like one of those Spy Kids movies from a few years back but with a bit more polish and a little less tech. Sie elicits mostly spontaneous, credible performances from the younger cast, who deliver their wisecracks and banter with aplomb and only occasionally edge into annoying child-actor pertness.
The high incidence of bodily fluid jokes is a tell that, although the girl protagonist is a teen, younger, fart-joke-loving viewers are clearly the target audience – and this should keep them amused. The title is another tell in itself – it’s a movie for Saturday night sleepovers, to be served with popcorn and homemade fairy cakes.
Source: The Guardian