Walking on Sunshine

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Walking on Sunshine Movie Poster Image
Frothy musical is a fun watch; some drinking, innuendo.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 97 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Forgiveness; triumph of true love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Taylor tries to do the right thing, even though she loves her sister's fiancé. Maddie wants her sister to find true love, even if it means risking everything for it or losing her own partner. Friends are concerned and caring and try to do what's best for each other. A few bad seeds, such as the lothario who won't go away, but most of the characters are well-intentioned, if simplistic.

Violence
Sex

Jokes, innuendo, canoodling, bedroom scenes throughout: Couple on the beach kiss; woman grabs another woman's breasts playfully; a shirtless guy walks in slow motion while a woman ogles him; woman reads a romance novel and acts aroused; sexy dancing in a few scenes, including a guy grabbing his crotch and a woman shaking her bosom; a guy grabs a woman's behind and squeezes and they wrestle on a bed; a woman jokes about orgasms; a woman wakes up with two men flanking her on the beach, suggesting a threesome, then rubs their faces in her bosom; a naked man is taped to a tree; a man and woman kiss.

Language

"Dick," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking throughout; airline attendants toast champagne at airport bar; women sip wine by a pool; a woman guzzles drinks at a wedding dinner party, then does shots of liquor; drinks at dinner; a woman carries a bottle of wine around after a night of partying; couples drink outside at a beach bar; friends toast beers on the beach to celebrate.

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.

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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?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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