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sunshine cleaners
Click for full sized poster

Sunshine Cleaning

Starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevak, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Clifton Collins Jr.
Screenplay by Megan Holly
Directed by Christine Jeffs
website: http://www.sunshinecleaning-themovie.com

IN SHORT: Suicide is Messy. . . or *someone* has to clean it all up. [Rated R for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use. 92 minutes]

For those who focus on the big letters screaming "From the Producers of ..." and the sure fire giveaway word SUNSHINE in the title, sorry folks, this film has not a darned thing to do with the incredibly charming and wonderful Little Miss Sunshine. Trying to make you think so is just low.

Then again, if you haven't figured that out within the first two minutes of the film, which involves a lot of messy red stuff, you probably walked in ignorant of the earlier film. Everyone else leave the expectations at the door for a perfectly passable dateflick. Not much more than that.

Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) is a maid. She's tried dozens of other, less menial jobs but has always managed to screw things up big time. Getting fired comes as regularly as, uh, her monthly friend. Rose's dad Joe (Alan Arkin) is a salesman who lives for the next get rich scheme. He's lived a lot of them. The money comes in from occasional jobs. The money goes into deals to re-roof houses or supply bootleg shrimp to local restaurants. Sister Norah (Emily Blunt) is a slacker, if we were to be nothing but totally honest, more of a loser than her sister. Most important of all, to Rose, is her son Oscar (Jason Spevack). Oscar is 7 going on 8. He has problems at school. Not that he beats up other kids, no. Oscar tends more to the distractive side. As this story begins, he's taken to licking things. Organic and non-organic. About to be tossed out of school -- again -- Rose determines that her pride and joy will not be dumped into a special ed program. She will find him a good private school that will deal with his problems.

Those kind of schools cost the kind of money that a maid cannot cover. Which is where we introduce Mac (Steve Zahn), the high school sweetheart and, professionally, a cop. On the side he is Rose's lover. On the other side he is Heather's husband -- all of 'em went to high school together. Rose was head cheerleader, captain of the squad. Mac was the star QB  of the football team, natch. Heather (Amy Redford) won out, in the end. To this day, she knows very well her husband's straying, and she's damned sure to let the opposing party know that there's no way Mac is going anywhere.

But Mac comes up with an idea of how Nora can make some extra cash. Since she *likes* to clean, howzabout cleaning up crime scenes? All that blood and mess has to go somewhere so why not make some cash. Someone has to. And so Rose and Nora begin "Sunshine Cleaning," even though the pros in the clean-up business are trying to figure out who the hacks undercutting their price schedule are. Which brings us to the most touching of subplots, featuring Winston (Clifton Collins Jr.), who runs the supply store. It's not a romantic story but it is one which I'll leave in the dark. As well, fans of tv's 24 will get a jolt from the appearance of Mary Lynn Rajskub and her particular interactions with Norah.

Oops, said too much.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Sunshine Cleaning, he would have paid . . .


Our dateflick rating. Even without the usual chick flick wetworks built into the story, Sunshine Cleaning is still aimed at the ladies. That being said, it's harmless enough that those of us laden with testosterone problems <g> won't have any problem getting through it. Take a date. Reap the rewards

amazon com link Click to buy films by Christine Jeffs
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