Ticket Stub: “Sunshine Cleaning” 

click to enlarge art15_film_sunshine_200.jpg

Threatening to start its own “Jeopardy!” category, the word “sunshine” appears in the title of yet another heartwarming indie drama in which a loveably quirky family overcomes obstacles on the way to self-fulfillment and individuality. This one also stars Alan Arkin and also features an adorable tyke (Jason Spevack), just like 2006's Oscar-winning “Little Miss Sunshine.” It's also set in Albuquerque, N.M., suggesting that the filmmakers (some unabashedly the same ones from both movies) weren't even daring enough to change locations. Likely they're at this very moment kicking themselves for letting Arkin live through the finale.

“Sunshine Cleaning” is notable for having been written by native Richmonder Megan Holley, (before “Little Miss Sunshine” came out), but its interesting premise never quite finds its way. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt star as sisters with little luck but lots of moxie who start a crime scene cleaning service, landing them in a screenwriting course's worth of conflicts and resolutions. This movie was so hastily assembled it never notices its heroine's dream of becoming a real estate agent has turned into a joke — the funniest one in this opportunistic movie. (R) 92 min. HIIII




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