February 13, 2014

Sunlight Jr. (2013)

Sunlight Jr. (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Laurie Collyer
Country: USA

Movie Review: Distant from feature films since 2006, time when she made her directorial debut with “Sherrybaby”, Laurie Collyer returned in 2013 with “Sunlight Jr.”, a dramatic story starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon in the main roles. Floridians Richie (Dillon) and Melissa (Watts) form a loving couple trying to get their lives straight despite several difficulties. Both make a life with lousy wages. While she works as cashier at Sunlight Jr. store where she is frequently harassed by the boss, he’s paraplegic and alcoholic, living from a small pension and some occasional electronic repairs. When Melissa finds she’s pregnant, the couple gets radiant, seeing the situation as a sign of change for their miserable life. Apart from this central guideline in the plot, Collyer sets up some derivative manipulations that includes family issues, Melissa’s former boyfriend, Justin (Norman Reedus), who keeps stalking her, and even a bedbug crisis. These elements didn’t add anything interesting to the washed-out sequences already presented. I’m convinced that Collyer failed to create the depth needed for this story to work better, a problem aggravated by the limp screenplay and unexceptional performances that made “Sunlight Jr.” seem empty and move into a sort of emotional triviality. More genuineness and determination would be very welcome in a film that never managed to get rid of mediocrity.

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