Parents' Guide to

Sweet Sunshine

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sensational music, amateur script in faith-lite romance.

Movie NR 2020 94 minutes
Sweet Sunshine Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

age 15+

What God because it isn't Christ?

It's not very country like or Christ based. The music isn't even country. Pertaining to the faith part, it's more westernized Hindu decor in the background and shallow prayers. There is more soul in their pop punk rock songs;the music sometimes has a hint of folk. If you don't care about details you might like this movie. It's better than most low budgeted films, such as, the acting. If you don't have much budget for a film at least have good acting, right? There isn't whole lot of depth in the script, and very wannabe Hollywood with costume and sexual context; Hollywood is not wholesome, people. One scene the main character is performing and cheesyly shows off his chest while singing. There is more sexual immoral content that is hinted throughout the movie but not shown. There is violence in the movie including one girl knocking out another. Very laughable. A teen girl might like this movie, maybe.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Country music and Christianity may go together like apple pie and the American flag, but this musical waters down the country, the Christianity, and the film it seems to be knocking off. Director Craig McMahon's Sweet Sunshine is like A Star Is Born without the interesting parts (or a solid script). There's plenty that doesn't work here, including the title character, Sunshine (Savanah D. McMahon), a free spirit who left home in her custom Mustang ... but we don't know why. She becomes homeless, but the movie's opportunity to shine a spotlight on the spiral of poverty is dismissed to instead instantly solve her problem by giving her a home, a boyfriend, and a career as a country singer in one night. No kidding. It's implied that it's all God's work, but that's really creating a lot of false expectations for Him from young viewers.

As TJ, Way is amiable and charming, demonstrating some real talent -- this is a kid who's going places. Featuring songs written by Louis Yoelin and performed by Way and McMahon, the movie's music is also surprisingly and consistently good -- quite unexpected for a low-budget, regional production. Alas, the quality of the musical performances draws attention to the poor audio throughout the rest of the film: It sounds as hollow and echo-y as if a boom mic was set up 10 yards away. And even though music is one of the film's main focuses, the way it's presented in Sweet Sunshine goes against the grain of modern filmmaking. Back in the early days of cinema, the action would stop to see a star perform a song because movies were the only visual medium in which people could see a performance -- there was no TV or YouTube. Eventually, the accepted practice became that when an entire song was to be performed, the music must connect to the storyline. But what we have here are unknown actors performing an album's worth of singles; not the most compelling proposition. While the quality of the music may provide a ray of light, Sweet Sunshine is a bit like being stuck at home on a rainy day.

Movie Details

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