I saw and quite liked David Robert Mitchell‘s Myth of the American Sleepover (Sundance Selects 7.22) at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival — 14 months ago. And now it’s finally opening a week and a half from now. And it deserves a looksee because as small-town teenage community movies go, Mitchell’s film isn’t far from the realm of George Lucas‘s American Graffitti, and that ain’t hay.

I said in Cannes that Myth “goes against the grain of typical teen-relationship flicks by being much smarter, better acted, more subtle and not reliant on animal-level humor (or animal-level sensibilities in the seats).” I said that “nothing feels written or faked…each and every scene has a natural ease and honesty.”

Also: “It goes without saying that a teen movie of this calibre is doomed to fail because it’s not coarse or stupid enough….kidding! Well, half-kidding. But what is it about under-25 Eloi not only seeming to prefer movies packed with tedious cliches and recoiling when something fresh and true and semi-original (like Myth) comes along?

My only complaint was as follows: “The characters in Myth all seem so passive, so low-energy whatever. If I was under fire and taking cover in Afghanistan, I’m wondering which of these kids, if they were also there, would have the cojones to shoot back like Val Kilmer did in Heat? They’re all about whim and instinct and going with dreamy feelings.

“That’s the realm and the psychology of being 18, of course, but what is life at any age without tests of character in hairy (or at least semi-hairy) situations? You know, like with Richard Dreyfuss showed in American Graffitti when he hung out with the Pharoahs?