Apparently, all the kids at Sweet Valley Middle School are tired of homework because they had multiple big projects due over the last few weeks. Mr. Bowman asks them to come up with a fun project that they can do in class. Leslie, a quiet and mousy girl who never talks, pipes up and suggests they make a movie. All the other kids agree but argue over what type of movie to make.
Amy and Elizabeth' decide to actually talk to Leslie and find out that she's a huge movie buff. She even has a friend named Deidre who is the manager at Sweet Valley Video. Deidre also studied acting at UCLA. She suggests they think about the type of movies they like and base their film off their own preferences.
The Unicorns all want to make a romance movie, but the guys want to make a horror movie. Liz comes up with an idea to do a spoof. They decide to do a horror movie combined with an action movie that has a love story ending. Everyone agrees it's the best thing ever. Amy then suggests a slime film, which then becomes the title of the film: The Slime That Ate Sweet Valley.
Jessica and Lila spend most of the book arguing over who is the better actress. When it comes time to audition, Lila does a really terrible job. Jess gets paired with Randy Mason and end up bring down the house. She keeps saying that he only did well because of her and imagines getting paired with either Tom or Ken. Mr. Bowman later announces that both Jessica and Randy got the lead roles. Leslie plans to audition, but she then hears Lila and Ellen making fun of her and runs away in tears.
Leslie winds up working on the script with Amy, Liz, and Maria. Mr. Bowman lets everyone write down three jobs they want to do and supposedly randomly assigns them roles. When Jessica reads the script, she goes bat shit crazy. Not only does she have to kiss Randy in the movie, but she also has to kiss Winston, who is playing the slime.
Meanwhile, Lila throws a hissy fit when she gets assigned to clean up crew. That leads her to announce that her father just bought a brand new camcorder and will let the class borrow it as long as she can direct. She mainly uses it to capture her friends doing stupid shit. Lila films Jessica, Ellen, and Mandy spilling food on themselves and gets Aaron falling off his skateboard.
The real kicker comes when Jessica admits to Mandy that she's never kissed anyone before and is worried about doing it right on camera. Word gets back to Lila who then invites Jess over to her house. Lila convinces her to try kissing a pillow and films it while pretending there's no film in the camera. She then holds a big party and shows all the footage she shot to Bruce, the Unicorns, and a bunch of other kids.
Jessica vows to get revenge on her but is still worried about kissing guys on camera. She acts like a huge diva to make people realize she is the star and eventually drops out of the movie completely, but Mr. Bowman still makes her help with the costumes. Leslie tells Deidre about all her fears, and Deidre confesses that she gave up acting after one professional audition where everyone else had more experience than her.
Leslie finally tells her new friends that she likes Randy as more than a friend and is super worried about kissing him. She steps up though and auditions for the lead role and gets it. Leslie then makes a joke about how all great actresses need to make sacrifices and kissing Randy will be one of hers.
Jessica and Mandy come up with the ultimate way to get back at Lila. Mandy throws a sleepover at her house and asks everyone to enter a weird pajama contest. They crown Lila the winner, make her wear big curlers in her hair, and put on a fancy oatmeal mask. They then convince her that there's something really special about being filmed and how she should let them film her. When she refuses, they tell her there's no film in the camera and record her performing Romeo & Juliet with a mop.
The day of the screening finally arrives. Jessica arranges to showcase Lila's tape at the very beginning, and everyone laughs and teases her. Everyone loves the movie too, and Leslie becomes a big star. Deidre even tells her that Leslie getting over her fears inspired her to go back to acting.
*OK, so Deidre appeared in a bunch of high school and college plays, studied at one of the top acting schools in the world, and then just gave it all up to work at a video store? Yeah, I'm sure that happens all the time.
*Maria claims that Leslie is more talented of an actress than Jessica. Huh, that must be why Leslie always acts in school plays and stuff while Jessica does nothing!
*Some of the “weird pajamas” include baseball pants and a Rangers shirt, a hospital gown, and Ned's sleep shirt. Lila wears a long purple shirt with “I'm A Star” and a unicorn on the front. Ellen borrows a “slinky” black nightgown from her mom, which I find really gross for a sixth grader.
*Leslie has supposedly always wanted to be an actress and dreams of studying acting. Given that she has huge stage fright, literally no experience, and never makes steps to get any experience, I find her future career highly doubtful.
*I also think it's ridiculous that Jessica has never been kissed. She says that Liz tells her what it's like to kiss Todd, which makes it even more ridiculous. It's also gross to think that she married someone who has literally been kissing her sister since SIXTH GRADE!!!
*Jessica only pulls off her prank on Lila with the help of this guy Pete. I'm pretty sure he's never been mentioned before or after, but he kind of reminds me of Pete Black. He pulls pranks like making cricket sounds, causing the VCR to shut off in the middle of class, and makes thing mysteriously fall over.
*Every time there is a book about acting, they mention multiple movies that Maria acted in over the years. I'd love to see a book where she stops talking about her past and future career and decides to actually act again.
*Maria tells Leslie not to worry about her crush on Randy and explains how she had a crush on one of her costars. When Leslie is shocked, Maria says that Hollywood starts often act weird on set because of the crushes they have. Yup, I'm pretty sure professional actors turn into 12 year old girls on film sets.