Wednesday, March 13, 2013

From Christine Jeffs and Megan Holley, Sunshine Cleaning is the Perfect Warm-Hearted Dark Comedy For Sisters, Mothers, and Daughters

Last week I wrote an article about “Little Miss Sunshine” and it got me thinking about the film “Sunshine Cleaning.” Now “Sunshine Cleaning” is from the producers of “Little Miss Sunshine”, it also stars Alan Arkin, and, you know, the word sunshine is in the title. However, the biggest similarity between the movies is the theme of self-realization. Both films feature characters basically trying to sort shit out. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they hurting themselves or the people who love them?

The key difference between the films is that “Sunshine Cleaning” is more focused on women. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play sisters, Rose and Norah, who are both stuck in their own lives.  Rose (Adams) is still thriving on the memory of her High School glory and Norah (Blunt) has no idea what she wants, and can’t move past the death of her mother. The film shows the way we sometimes need to see ourselves through other people in order to move forward. And more importantly, that failure is an important part of success.

The sisters begin a business cleaning up crime scenes in order to send Rose’s son to private school. The film focuses on Rose’s struggle to be a good mother, sister and daughter, and Norah’s struggle to begin her life. When everyone around you is falling apart, how do you keep yourself together?

The film was directed by Christine Jeffs and written by Megan Holley. The style of humor is similar to “Little Miss Sunshine” only with some romantic elements. But really it’s just a film about people finding themselves. There’s a relatable warmth and pain to the story, it’s smart, and it came out over four years ago and if I watched it today it would still feel new. If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I recommend it. It used to be on Netflix Instant and On Demand, so keep a look out for it,  hopefully they bring it back.

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