VIDEO: The trailer for Sunshine Cleaning
What lifts this tasty little dramedy above Sundance mediocrity is a pathos that overcomes all the "quirky" dysfunctional contrivance. Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) is a former cheerleader and single mom who recruits her good-for-nothing sister (Emily Blunt) to clean up in the crime-scene clean-up biz as they muddle through their own messy lives.
Adams, cheery as ever, is unremarkable as the brains behind the operation. Some good laughs come from Alan Arkin, in a tamer kooky grandpa role, and from Blunt — Nora at first looks to be a smarmy hipster stranded in Albuquerque, but she blooms into a vulnerable woman who never recovered from a childhood tragedy.
Working from a script jammed with clichés, director Christine Jeffs (Sylvia) moves gracefully between crime scenes and greasy spoons, taking pains not to make anything too precious or too slick. If you like the band Calexico, you just might like this.