Sunshine Cleaning review

American quirky low budget “little character films” can be real gems and although Sunshine Cleaning will inevitably be compared to the likes of Juno and Little Miss Sunshine, it isn’t quite as original or quirky or, ultimately, gem-like.

The writing is patchy; the pacing is okay but the interest of scenes and strength of dialogue in particular (which, at times, is great) take a dip in the middle of the film, where it seems to forget that it started off with strong comedic elements. The story is also quite formulaic and obvious; struggle → fight → success → downfall → rise from the ashes.

Amy Adams demonstrates yet again that she’s a good, although too-often doe-eyed, actor but Britain’s own Emily Blunt impresses more. Alan Arkin is only disappointing in so much that he pretty much reprises his kooky role from Little Miss Sunshine but to less effect. Joined by other notable performances from Steve Zahn, some kid, and the Art Garfunkel fan from Flight of the Conchords, the cast members work well together and are the highlight of an otherwise average film.

3 out of 5

9th Jul 2009