A family. Rose and Norah, in Albuquerque, lost their mother when they were young. Rose is responsible – a housecleaner, raising her seven-year-old son Oscar. She’s also having an affair with Mac, a married cop, her high-school sweetheart. Norah can’t hold a job. Their dad, Joe, is quirky. When Oscar is expelled for odd behavior, Rose wants to earn enough to send him to private school. Mac suggests she clean up after crime scenes, suicides, and deaths that go undiscovered for awhile. Rose enlists Norah, and Sunshine Cleaners is born. Norah bonds with the dead, Rose finds out that it’s a regulated business, and complications arise. Can a family marked by tragedy sort things out?
Sunshine Cleaning is an odd movie and it comes from the producers from Little Miss Sunshine and has Alan Arkin again. It’s got Amy Adams and Emily Blunt playing sisters who decide to start a company that cleans up after murders so it’s not exactly a cheerful movie and it has a hard time finding its way, finding a tone, and I think to a certain extent never quite succeeds including a clearly disturbed little boy. Alan Arkin is always wonderful. It’s an interesting idea. But it’s not quite black comedy. It’s certainly not comedy and it’s not particularly dramatic, even though I liked watching especially Emily Blunt. Two stars.