I’d been really looking forward to ‘Sunshine Cleaning’, so I was relieved the preview wasn’t better than the movie (I’m talking to you ’17 Again’).
‘Sunshine Cleaning’ is more melancholy than the title implies. Centered around a stuck woman, Amy Adams plays a single mom who never quite got to the life she expected after high school. She’s been meaning to take classes to get her real estate license, but she isn’t. She’s dating her high school boyfriend, who had (of course) been the quarterback to her head cheerleader – but he's married to someone else. Her son is mildly troubled (he does things like lick his teacher's leg) and needs to be sent to a private school. Private school requires money, so she ropes her slacker sister (Emily Blunt) into running a crime scene cleanup business (she's heard from the quarterback-turned-cop, Steve Zahn, that there's serious money to be made there). The slacker sister still lives at home and floats between crappy waitressing jobs. Their mom died when they were young, and we know she's got some unresolved issues because she wears black nail polish.
I challenge you to find a more likable person onscreen than Amy Adams. Seriously. She's pretty hard to not love. So while the movie had its issues, I care very little about them.
Issue #1: The kid part was pretty under developed. And short of not dying, didn't Alan Arkin play this same benevolent-grandpa-to precocious-child character in that *other* Sunshine movie?
Issue #2: Wear less eye makeup, Emily Blunt.
Issue #3: Unresolved love interest much?
Just like the trailer, the movie made me cry, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't seem like the whole thing been had shown in the preview. There were surprises (IE: new things to cry about), like Clifton Collins/Frankie Flowers as a friendly one-armed cleaning supply store owner. And, total bonus points for featuring Eric Stoltz’s kid sister from ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ in a bit part – she’s still got some teeth on her!
7 Twix bars!