Thursday, April 09, 2009
"Sunshine Cleaning" may remind you at first, of "Little Miss Sunshine". Alan Arkin plays a very similar character in both films. Both contain a cute child, and both explore the dysfunctional family theme. However, with a darkly comic plot device and strong acting by Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, "Sunshine Cleaning" is an original experience. This comic drama is a perfect tale for these hard economic times.
Ms. Adams and Ms. Blunt play very believable sisters who couldn't be more different. Both have grown up dealing with their mother's suicide in their own way. Rose (Ms. Adams) is the more sensible one trying to make a living for herself and her young son. Nora (Ms. Blunt) is more of a wild child who matures through the course of the film when they go into business together.
The sister start a cleaning business for crime scene cleansing. This plot device allows for some strong drama as well as some unexpected comedy. Both women shine in their respective roles and are a pleasure to watch. Mr. Arkin plays their curmudgeon of a father always looking for a quick buck. The film also stars Clifton Collins Jr. in a role very different from his usual staple of villainous characters. Steve Zahn also plays against type as a married policeman having an affair with Rose.
This is an enjoyable and touching story, well played by it's strong cast.