The Sun Is Also a Star

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Poster Image
Charming opposites-attract adaptation has romance, language.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes believing in and being open to love and relationships, teens being honest with parents about their plans for the future, sharing your passions with the people you love, fighting for what you believe in. Empathy is a clear theme.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Natasha is an intelligent, determined, disciplined scientist and a loving daughter. Daniel is compassionate, romantic, courageous. Both want to help each other and their families. Their relationship offers diverse representation: She's Caribbean/black, and he's Korean American.

Violence

A speeding car clips a cyclist, who's left injured on the pavement. Daniel saves Natasha from being struck by the same car. They fall back on the sidewalk. Daniel and his brother get into a fistfight, leaving them both with bruises.

Sex

Lots of romance, including several kisses and passionate making out, as well as a couple of brief mentions of sex as one of the foundations for all songs/poetry. No actual love scene.

Language

Occasional strong language includes one "f--k you," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "damn," "d--k," "hell," "oh my God," etc.

Consumerism

Coca-Cola, Apple iPhone, Nike, Beats headphones, Adore hair color.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sun Is Also a Star is based on Nicola Yoon's best-selling, award-winning YA romance about Natasha Kingsley (Grown-ish's Yara Shahidi), a rational, Jamaican-born teen who meets Daniel Bae (Riverdale's Charles Melton), a romantic Korean American student, one fateful day in Manhattan. The movie should appeal to fans of both the book and the two stars, as well as to anyone interested in coming-of-age love stories. Expect several passionate kisses, including a couple of heavy make-out sessions, and occasional strong language (one "f--k," plus a few uses of "s--t," "a--hole," etc.). A fistfight breaks out between brothers and ends with visible bruises on both guys, and a car clips a cyclist and almost hits someone else. Like the book, the movie weaves in historical, cultural, and scientific details and explores falling in love and following your dreams. Empathy is a clear theme, and the main characters' relationship offers welcome diverse representation.

Wondering if The Sun Is Also a Star is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byYCJC14 April 22, 2020
Adult Written bydavispittman May 27, 2019

Suitable for pre teens and up

This film isn’t great but it’s not bad either, and if your pre teen or teen is going to watch a young adult romance, this is one of the better ones. It’s about... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byNOTWORTHYOUR TI... May 17, 2019

TERRIBLE

It is the worst movie I have ever watched, I cannot count how many times I cringed. The thing is, it had everything to be good, but somehow they managed to scre... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bycandycorn33 April 24, 2020

Laughable

This movie was probably the most disappointing movie i’ve ever seen. Me and my friend went to the movies super excited to watch this love story unfold. The trai... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR is based on Nicola Yoon's award-winning young adult novel about two teens -- practical Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi) and dreamer Daniel Bae (Charles Melton) -- who randomly meet and then spend an entire day together in New York City. Natasha, whose family is originally from Jamaica, is in Manhattan to fight her family's voluntary removal (deportation), which is scheduled for the next day. Daniel, who's Korean American, is there for a Dartmouth interview -- even though he wants to be a poet, not a doctor like his parents expect. Daniel sees Natasha from afar at Grand Central Station, and, after trying to reach her on the street, ends up saving her from an oncoming car. Over coffee, Natasha, an aspiring scientist, admits that she doesn't believe in love. But Daniel is a romantic, and he thinks he can get Natasha to fall in love with him if she gives him an hour. The hour turns into an entire day as the two travel around the city -- sharing favorite places, growing closer, and dealing with their family issues.

Is it any good?

Romance fans comfortable with suspending disbelief will find Shahidi and Melton luminous enough to make this uniquely New York City love story a sweet diversion. Yes, there are several too-good-to-be-true coincidences -- especially in a city with 8 million people -- but that's the particular alchemy necessary for the story of The Sun Is Also a Star to make the polar opposite leads think about fate, destiny, and being meant to be. And there's a certain amount of joy involved in watching these two appealing young people traipse around all of Manhattan together. Yes, the movie ia occasionally a tad slow, and it makes their romance spark more immediately than the book did. There, each lingering look, conversation, and mini adventure made the inevitable kissing and declarations of love feel more earned. But director Ry Russo-Young's interpretation of Yoon's book is in keeping with what's always made the story swoon-worthy.

Shahidi is particularly well cast as Natasha, who's initially resistant to Daniel's advances because of her family's imminent deportation. She imbues her character with the depth you'd expect under the circumstances. Melton is almost too amazing to believe as the earnest, eager Daniel, who wears his heart on his sleeve. The movie's differences from the book make sense, especially in today's political climate regarding immigration, but most of the key scenes -- and even the historical interludes -- are the same. The discussions of Carl Sagan, the universe, the historical reasons behind Korean-owned black hair supply stores, the sexy karaoke scene: They're all effective. What doesn't translate as well is the epilogue, which on film seems unnecessary and overly cute after a poignant, bittersweet almost-ending that would have worked better.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether The Sun Is Also a Star is a successful adaptation. What changes did the filmmakers make from the book? Do you understand why they made them? Which parts of the movie captured the book best, and which parts of the book did you miss not seeing in the movie?

  • Talk about Natasha's and Daniel's relationships with their parents. Which one of them has a healthier connection, and why?

  • How does the movie depict love/romance? Is Natasha and Daniel's relationship realistic? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding romance and relationships.

  • How does the story show the importance of empathy? Why is that a key character strength?

  • Do you prefer adaptations based on realistic YA fiction or on genre fiction, such as dystopian/paranormal stories? Why?

Movie details

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love books and romance

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate