Movie Review: Sunshine Cleaning

First the word sunshine in the title made me suspicous, and then when I saw Alan Arkin, the actor who played Grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine, play the Dad here, it became obvious. This is another movie from the producers of Litte Miss Sunshine, and it works just as well.

It is a comedy-drama about Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) a single mother in Albuquerque who is down on her luck and starts a business cleaning up after crime scenes and biohazards, mostly murders and suicides. She is the eternal optimist and names her business Sunshine Cleaning. After all, it’s a growth industry. Stumbling into the opportunity quite by accident, she recruits her sister Norah (Emily Blunt) and with a few buckets and sponges, they start cleaning up blood and guts. They find out quickly that the business is not as simple as it sounds, and they learn many of its lessons the hard way. Joe (Alan Arkin) is the girls’ father, and he contributes as he did in Little Miss Sunshine, as a quirky, crafty, sometimes grumpy but always loving dad.

Quirky scenes, hilarious characters, and sad and tragic situations are strung together. You can’t help but identify with the characters and feel with them, even though nothing seems to go right for them. In the end it is not clear if all is good and happy, but we know that the circle of life continues.

Rating: ***

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