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Warning you about crappy movies since 2008.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning

This independent film has more in common with Little Miss Sunshine than just Alan Arkin. There are the quirky characters; a wacky, dysfunctional family whose members love and can't do without each other even as they drive each other crazy; a precocious kid -- and a van that figures prominently in the story. But, this story is much more drama than comedy, whereas Little Miss Sunshine was the reverse.

Rose (Amy Adams) is rock-solid as a former cheerleader whose glory days are long past. She's a single mom to a young boy who's constantly in trouble. She's involved with a married man (Steve Zahn) who is clearly not planning to leave his wife. And, she tries to eke out a living by cleaning houses.

And, she's the successful sister.

Emily Blunt plays the younger, troubled, irresponsible sister who keeps getting fired from waitressing jobs. But when Rose gets wind of a serious money-making opportunity, she enlists the help of her reluctant sister, and the two start a business specializing in cleaning up crime scenes. Along the way, the sisters will be forced to confront -- each in their own way -- the memory of their mother who has been missing from their lives since they were young.

Parts of the movie are a bit heavy-handed and manipulative. And, this reviewer was disappointed that the fate of one important character is never addressed -- even after the film has led you to believe he and one of the main characters are falling for each other. Still, there's enough about this movie -- primarily its endearing cast -- to recommend it. See it.

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