We really liked "The Myth of the American Sleepover," one of the smaller, happier surprises of the summer. An intimate, casual drama about a bunch of average teens right before a new school year kicks off, it was the writing-directing debut of David Robert Mitchell, who cast a lot of non-actors for the central roles, which made the movie instantly feel a lot different than most TV shows and movies about high school. (For one thing, the kids actually looked the right age.) "American Sleepover" was a micro-budget indie that didn't make a ton of money, but it's worth checking out on-demand if you can. We're excited to see what he does next, and today we found out what that might be.
Variety reports that Mitchell will be directing "Ella Walks on the Beach" from his own script, which "centers around a single woman traveling along an iconic California beach." That vague plot description makes it sound like another tiny slice-of-life portrait from Mitchell, but this is actually a project he's been developing for a few years that was shepherded by the Sundance Institute's Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship, where it was called "Ella Walks the Beach." Here's their slightly longer synopsis:
A young woman breaks up with her boyfriend and runs away, spending a night and a day traveling along an iconic California beach, meeting interesting people, playing music, having adventures, and testing the waters of 'being single'.
So, OK, still not exactly a high-concept idea. But at least we know why she's walking now. Mostly, we're just happy that Mitchell didn't just decide to immediately turn his small, personal indie into a calling card to direct 'tween comedies or Asian horror remakes. Maybe the guy just wants to stay an independent filmmaker. It's such a small thing, but that makes us happy.
'Ella' finds her fella [Variety]