COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 42min
STARRING: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn
Blood money: from left, Adams and Blunt
Of all the jobs that don’t bear thinking of, the cleaning of crime scenes would have to rank right up (or down) there. The money’s good, though, which is where Rose and Norah Lorkowski (Adams and Blunt, revelling in their scenery-nibbling roles) come in. A cheerleading star in high school, Rose is now a fringe-dwelling Albuquerque battler with a married policeman boyfriend (Zahn) and an unusual young son (Spevack) to support. Despondent Norah, who lives with the sisters’ dreamer dad (Arkin), has no job and nothing better to do. The girls steel themselves to deal with other people’s mess, only to realise that they feel strangely needed, ta-da.
And so Sunshine Cleaning ploughs on as Rose and Norah struggle to make their way while staying ahead of their oh-so-sad past. Directed by Christine Jeffs, it is produced by the Little Miss Sunshine team but this mood-swinging mishmash — Poignant! Acerbic! Butter-soft! — is no ray of, with Megan Holley’s strained screenplay as patchy and scrappy as the lives it sets out to capture.