Sunlight Jr.


It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)


Swift shot: I really, really wanted this film to just end. I am not sure where to begin with why it was so unpleasant. Naomi Watts is getting blasted by other critics for her accent in Diana, and in Sunlight Jr., I really can’t say what she was going for as a convenience store clerk who is trapped in a circle of her own selfishness. I didn’t like her character, and as the film ended, I loathed her character. If you can find a more selfish character in film, please, let me know. You’ll see what I mean once you get to the “donuts” scene. Like she deserved even one donut? I’m rambling, but, hey, if you like that sort of thing, then Sunlight Jr. is perfect for you. It’s a rambling, boring story about characters I could care less about . . . and did I mention one was in a wheel chair and paralyzed from the waist down? Even that guy, I didn’t care about.

Melissa (Watts) is a cashier for the “Sunlight Jr.” convenience store, and she lives in a crappy motel with her disabled boyfriend Richie (Matt Dillon). They seem, at first, to be very much in love, and very much on the losing spectrum of life in general. I don’t recall ever finding out why Richie lost his ability to walk, but I think it had something to do with being a drunk loser. Melissa’s ex-boyfriend, Justin, is played rather well by Norman Reedus, who plays a real shitty human being . . . who also happens to be a father. He’s spreading his hatred of the world through his very impressionable son.

Wrapping up the clan of calamity is Kathleen (Tess Harper). She is Melissa’s mother, and to make money off the “system” she fosters a bunch of kids that she barely sustains on ketchup and noodles.  She does have plenty of money dedicated to keeping her with a near-permanent buzz, though. She pressures Melissa to dump Richie and get with a real hero, Justin.  Also in Melissa’s life is her boss, who sexually harasses her, because she is always late, doesn’t care about her job, and he lords that fact over her and permits her to work there so he can have fap fantasies of her in the freezer.

In short, her life pretty much sucks. It is the despair, and lack of anything in the way of levity (unless you count the weirdest sack race in the history of modern recorded time) that destroys this film. The sack race was tacked in probably because the story was so boring and depressing that it needed something fun to cheer up the audience. When you write a story, you have an obligation to the reader, and when you tell a story on film, you have an obligation to the audience . . . be worthy of their time. It’s like someone thought about a great story and instead settled for mediocrity.  The dialog was as depressing as the characters.

The characters were not compelling, the drama was less than intense, even when something dramatic was happening, it felt . . . silly. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. Granted, there is one murder in the film, and then as a reward, the murderer gorges on donuts.

Perhaps the one saving grace for Sunlight Jr. is that it is a veiled “message” movie about responsibility, parenting, and the actions we make having real consequences. Well, that is until things get too tough, then we just quit and run away, apparently. I really think Melissa was mentally retarded, or maybe slow (squared) is a better description.

I would write more, but I am late for a sack race. So, unless you must see Naomi Watts nude or Norman Reedus play a bad guy, this film won’t leave a mark.

One Response to “Sunlight Jr.”

  1. H-Man Says:

    The title alone is lame as hell. And if I want to see Naomi Watts naked, I'll watch Mulholland Drive.

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