Ten-year-old Frank and his family have moved nine times in eleven years, and Frank has had it. No more new schools or new friends. This time Frank’s going to make his sister love the place so much she never wants to leave. Because, you see, when your sister is invisible, she can do pretty much whatever she likes.
Cleo (Rowan Blanchard) is a teenage girl living in the shadow of her older sister, Molly (Paris Berelc), whose popularity gets her recognized by everyone at school. Although Cleo is hardly noticed compared to her sister, she is an excellent student, but is introverted and somewhat sarcastic and cynical.
Okay so Cleo is meant to be the main character and the movie wants us to sympathize with her but she is just so unlikable. It’s like someone put Sheldon Cooper in the body of a teenage girl. Having to spend 77 minutes with this character was a chore and a half. The title is meant to have a double meaning as Cleo feels invisible in the shadow of her sister but she does it to herself.
At one point after school, her sister’s boyfriend invites Cleo and her best friend out for frozen yogurt but she says no because she’s so convinced that popular kids wouldn’t want to hang out with losers like them. Ouch. So, he was being nice to you. Why is a jerk to everyone that you come across?
Later that night, Cleo’s older sister Molly is throwing a party that Cleo all but disinvited herself from while working on a science experiment assigned to her by her science teacher as she has been holding herself back. While working that project to turn a mystery substance into a solid, she accidentally turns a moth invisible. The moth flies around the house until falling into a cup of antiacid that Molly (the older sister) is drinking and yeah, she wakes up invisible.
That night at a Halloween party, Cleo along with her best friend (yeah, he’s in the movie a lot more but I don’t care) and her crush work on figuring out how to undo the invisibility and this is a clever moment where they take items from a haunted house to supplement for materials to use in the experiment to undo the invisibility. That’s one of the few things I’ll give the movie. It works and then it doesn’t but apparently Molly added something called Ginger Fizz to her drink and that was an unknown variable. Molly had that on her person and adding that to the drink solves the problem and turns her back visible.
Yay, the movie is over.
Cleo played by Rowan Blanchard
I do not like this character. I think I’ve made that clear throughout. It’s one thing to have an unlikeable protagonist as we see here but to have her be so rude to people that were being nice to her just because she assumed the worst of everybody is a major turnoff. And okay, this movie wants us to buy that she feels overshadowed by her older sister. I don’t as it seems like she actively chooses to avoid the limelight. Okay fine but don’t lash out at people that are being nice to you for no reason. And oh my god her best friend George has a crush on her sister’s friend and her sister says that her friend would like him. Cleo’s response is to say that she wouldn’t go for guys like him, even after what Molly said. How do you have a friend? I’m serious if someone that was supposed to be my friend talked to me like that, I’d dump them in a heartbeat.
Molly played by Paris Berlec
I like Molly as she is genuinely nice and tries to be the best older sister for Cleo that she can even if Cleo makes it a chore and a half to do so . Molly feels like someone that actively tries to make everyone feel included. While watching this movie, I was reminded of another show that Paris Berlec was in, the Netflix sitcom, Alexa, and Katie.
Not only is this my favorite Netflix sitcom but Berlec’s character of Alexa also faces similar struggles although grounded in a more real-world as wanting to be seen for who she is and not live in a shadow. In this case, that being cancer as she’s a cancer survivor. It’s a really good show that has a lot of heart.
Anyways getting back to this, Molly was probably the one character that I liked the most in the movie because as I said she always tried to make people feel welcomed. There’s also a rather fun moment where she takes advantage of being invisible to scare the school security guard by pretending to be a ghost to help her sister get some science equipment.
My Final Thoughts
I’ve not gotten this angry at a movie in a while but this movie really brought it out in me as it’s just so angering. Though I don’t think the anger will be subsiding anytime soon as we look at the more baffling and almost questionable DCOM’s as we look at a movie simply known as…