SUNSHINE STATE Add To My Top 10

Nature on a Leash

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: June 21, 2002

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Director: John Sayles

Executive Producer:

Producer: Maggie Renzi

Writer: John Sayles

Address Comments To:

Michael Barker, Tom Bernard & Marcie Bloom
Co-Presidents
Sony Pictures Classics
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 833-8833
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com

Content:

(PaPa, EE, AcapAcap, PCPC, CC, B, Co, H, LL, V, S, N, A, D, M) Eclectic pagan worldview with some pagan, environmentalist, anti-capitalist, Christian, redemptive, moral, anti-capitalist, Communist, and humanist worldview elements and content; 27 obscenities including one “f” word, one strong profanity and four mild profanities; man tries to kill himself several times but is always interrupted; implied fornication with couples lying in bed or getting dressed afterwards; upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, lying, corruption, gambling, and attempted suicides.


Summary:

SUNSHINE STATE is a complex, well-made tale about three women, their families and the men in their lives, in a small beach community in Florida with a long and influential public and private history. Although the movie has positive Christian content with some moral elements, including a nice church scene, it also contains many problematic worldview elements and plenty of mostly lightweight foul language.


Review:

In one sense, acclaimed writer/director John Sayles’ latest movie, SUNSHINE STATE, is an ideological, anti-capitalist movie that aims to point a finger at the rampant commercialism of American society where everything, including patriotism, has become a commodity. It also, however, touches upon universal themes such as redemption, change, love, community, and family ties.
Change is coming to Delrona Beach, Florida. Marly is busy running her sickly father’s motel, which she hates, and trying to decide whether to sell out to the rich developers who have assaulted the town. Her mother is living in her own dream world down at the community theater. Marly is also drawn to the new guy in town, a handsome divorced architect who works for one of the developers.
Meanwhile, Desiree is a newly married black woman who’s back home for the first time in 25 years. She’s home to show off her new husband, a doctor, but she doesn’t trust her mother Eunice, who’s taking care of an orphaned teenage relative, Terrell. Terrell’s father murdered his mother, and Terrell is now having problems with the law because of his penchant for arson. Eunice lives in the black enclave of Delrona.
Finally, Chamber of Commerce leader Francine is once again in charge of the town’s Buccaneer Days celebration. She’s too busy to see much of her banker husband, whose gambling debts are making him suicidal.
Interwoven among these stories are scenes with comedian Alan King leading a group of elderly hackers in a round of golf. King waxes eloquently on the impact of the white settlers on the Native Americans and black slaves, as well as Florida’s penchant for trying to lasso nature. “Nature on a leash,” he calls it.
SUNSHINE STATE is a complex movie that’s well worth a second viewing. All of the actors are marvelous, so it’s hard to pick out just one. Regrettably, although the movie has positive Christian content with some moral elements, including a nice church scene, it also contains many problematic worldview elements. For example, there’s an undercurrent of anti-capitalist, environmentalist satire in the movie. The only things that save SUNSHINE STATE from being a mere political diatribe are its flawed and contradictory, but fascinating, characters and the affection that Sayles displays for his setting. In the end, Sayles manages to be provocative rather than really offensive.


In Brief:

SUNSHINE STATE is a complex, well-made tale about three women, their families and the men in their lives, in a small beach community in Florida with a long and influential history. Edie Falco of THE SOPRANOS plays a thirtysomething white woman who runs her father’s motel, but hates it. Angela Bassett is a black woman who’s re-visiting the black enclave in the tiny community. Maureen Steenburgen is a Chamber of Commerce lady who neglects her troubled husband while running the town’s Buccaneer Days celebration.
SUNSHINE STATE is provocative and entertaining enough to merit a second viewing. All of the actors are marvelous, so it’s hard to pick out just one. Regrettably, although the movie has positive Christian content with some moral elements, including a nice church scene, it also contains many problematic worldview elements. For example, there’s an undercurrent of anti-capitalist, environmentalist satire in the movie, plus a lax attitude toward premarital sex. The only things that save SUNSHINE STATE from being a mere political diatribe are its flawed and contradictory, but fascinating, characters and the affection that Sayles displays for his setting. In all, Sayles manages to be provocative rather than really offensive.