Joe Nussbaum and Elisa Bell's bland teen comedy is a real snooze. It's the last day of middle school for Julie (Alexa Vega, of the SPY KIDS series), and while she's thrilled that summer has arrived, the day is bittersweet. Not only is Julie's best friend, Hannah (Mika Boorem), moving away, but super-popular Staci (Sara Paxton) is ditching Julie's slumber...read more
Joe Nussbaum and Elisa Bell's bland teen comedy is a real snooze. It's the last day of middle school for Julie (Alexa Vega, of the SPY KIDS series), and while she's thrilled that summer has arrived, the day is bittersweet. Not only is Julie's best friend, Hannah (Mika Boorem), moving away, but super-popular Staci (Sara Paxton) is ditching Julie's slumber party for a date with a high-school boy. Julie doesn't intend to let Staci's absence rain on her parade; she invites her other pals Farrah (Scout Taylor-Compton) and Yancy (Kallie Flynn Childress) over for an evening of innocent, end-of-school fun and the giggly gaggle of girls play dress-up, freeze someone's bra and paint their nails until Staci — mad that her date went awry — crashes the party. Stuck-up Staci and her interchangeable followers (Brie Larson, Eileen Boylan, Katija Pevec) challenge Julie and Co. to a scavenger hunt. Hannah eagerly accepts the dare and ups the ante: Next fall, the winning team will get to sit at the fountain-side lunch spot, while the losers will have to park themselves near the dumpsters. With the help of her slacker brother, Ren (Sam Huntington), Julie reluctantly disobeys her mom's (Jane Lynch) strict orders not to leave the house and sneaks past her preoccupied pop (Jeff Garlin). Using a borrowed electric car, Julie and her friends start crossing items off the list: They dress Old Navy mannequins in their own clothes; hit the adult Cosmo Club for a blind date; obtain a decal from the car of the neighborhood rent-a-cop (Steve Carell); and steal a pair of boxer shorts from Steve Philips (Sean Faris), the boy on whom Julie has a major crush. Nussbaum's entire feature-film debut contains less wit and whimsy than the title of his successful short George Lucas in Love. There's nothing special or interesting about the characters and the young actresses' performances feel forced; perhaps they're just exhausted from the effort of trying to sound their age while reciting screenwriter Bell's lackluster dialogue, which is peppered with a few tragically hip words that do nothing to make it seem authentically youthful. The only memorable moments in the entire film come courtesy of three supporting characters, dopey skateboarders (Evan Peters, Shane Hunter, Hunter Parrish) who blindly follow Julie around. And dude, that's a problem.
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