A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Walking on Sunshine is a fun, frivolous musical about a love triangle, holiday romance, and a beach wedding involving sisters, friends, and lovers, with a slew of '80s hits. There's a lot of sexiness in terms of conversations, jokes, and dance routines, but it's far more cheeky than explicit. A few instances of profanity could easily be missed if you weren't paying attention ("dick," "s--t"); there's also lots of casual drinking throughout. The overall quality isn't spectacular, but it makes up for it with pitch-perfect singing and elaborate dance numbers with moxie and spunk.
What's the story?
Maddie (Hannah Arterton) is engaged to be married to the love of her life, Italian hunk Raf. But when she discovers he also was the love of her sister Taylor's (Annabelle Scholey) life three years ago on a whirlwind holiday romance, the two must convince her that that love no longer exists. Trouble is, first they have to convince themselves, and meanwhile, Maddie's ex Doug (Greg Wise) simply can't accept that she's moved on.
Is it any good?
WALKING ON SUNSHINE is not as good as Pitch Perfect or Mamma Mia, but it's no less fun in its own right. Though the singing is not particularly impressive and the dances are simple, the cast has some real chemistry and clearly has a lot of fun with the material. It doesn't hurt that the songs all are catchy 1980s mainstays such as "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston or "Holiday" by Madonna or that it's set on a beach in Puglia, Italy. There are some positive -- if unrealistic -- messages here about true love cutting through against the odds, and some solid, loyal friendships on display. And the ending, where some people pair off with their intendeds while others choose to be single until the real thing comes along, is admirable in an age when romcoms still have everyone paired off in some way or another by the time the credits roll. Not a bad bargain for what is otherwise fluff.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about musicals. Why do you think they're so popular?
What do you think of the singing and dance numbers here? How do they compare to other musicals you've watched?
How realistic do you think the plot of Walking on Sunshine is? What do you find believable about it?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love musicals
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
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.