Sunshine Cleaning Christine Jeffs

Sunshine Cleaning Christine Jeffs
Despite an overall sense of lethargy in direction, with intentional lingering for heightened character acuity, there is something imminently likable about Sunshine Cleaning, a film that puts a little pep into the ache of loss, failure and loneliness. Unlucky in love and eternally dependent on emotionally unavailable men, Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) struggles to look after herself and her son (Jason Spevack), dreaming of more than minimum wage and a humdrum, small-town life. Spurned partially by her married hump buddy (Steve Zahn), a police officer, Rose starts up Sunshine Cleaning with her screw-up sister Norah (Emily Blunt), a business wherein the siblings clean up crime scenes. With roadblocks aplenty, what makes their journey that much more potentially tragic are the many pathetic get rich quick schemes their father (Alan Arkin) constantly concocts, repeating the cycle of futility. Furthermore, nuanced, humanizing performances from both Adams and Blunt make the film that much more, as it's difficult not to root for and invest in the trajectories of two women that just want moderate success and a little ease in a mostly disappointing life. While slight in scope and outcome, never sealing the deal with the standard emotional clincher, this very human story mixes its comedy and drama with just enough worldly insight to succeed in its humble goals. Included with the DVD is a feature-length commentary track with writer Megan Holley and producer Glenn Williamson, which is timid and panegyric but traces the production from a screenwriting contest years ago to plum casting and location scouting. In addition, the supplement "A Fresh Look at Dirty Business" shares the perspective of two actual biohazard cleanup women who remark on the occasional implausibility, as well as the many things the film got right. It's a welcome and appropriate inclusion to a touching film. (E1)