‘Walking on Sunshine’ Movie Review
“Walking on Sunshine” is a fun filled-romance, filled with a perfect karaoke fest for fans of ’80s music.
For fans of “Mamma Mia” or “Sunshine on Leith” this may be the perfect film to watch with mates and family looking for another songfest film and whilst the story is sweet and at all times remains to be good fun, it doesn’t have the charm that “Mamma Mia” succeeds with. Taylor (Hannah Arterton) returns to Puglia after three years, only to discover her sister Maddie (Annabel Scholey) is engaged to her old flame and love of her life, Raf (Giulio Berruiti).
From the trailer, there’s no doubt that it’s aimed at a female audience. The swooping shots of bare-chested stereotypically handsome men in swim-shorts prove that half the sequences are for sex appeal. And whilst that’s fun to watch, it’s a shame that the music is good, yet the story and dialogue occasionally make you cringe.
Instead of the opening moments gently warming hearts, it throws out cheesy dialogue and professions of love, where the protagonist returns home to study when it’s obvious she doesn’t want to and this is only meant to set up the drama for the remaining film. After this, the film does settle down and it isn’t as cheesy as it was in the first few minutes, but that of course, could be distracted by the hilarious and fun dance sequences whenever the characters burst into song. Within the first half hour is the delightfully filmed “Venus” and the hilarious “Girls Want to Have Fun” to get the audience chortling.
Whilst the cast clearly has lots of energy and enthusiasm (and for the most part, good singing voices), the plot lets them down. Maddie’s character took the majority of the limelight and Taylor and Leona Lewis only had a few lines (although, whenever there was time to belt out the best chorus, there was no doubt it was her time to shine). That’s not to mention the stereotypical supporting cast, whilst they were hilarious to watch and added to the fun of the film, Doug had the most ridiculous notions to try and get Maddie back which was only addled by some off-key singing. You could be sure that whenever the film diverted away from Taylor, Doug would be prowling somewhere to try and win Maddie’s heart again. And yet, when this isn’t taken too seriously, it’s great fun to watch.
The cinematography of swooping shots of beautiful Italian buildings and Puglia make it seem more like a commercial for a holiday. Who wouldn’t want to go and relax on sun tanned beaches or wander the golden buildings and markets? It adds to the charm of the film and the romantic themes. Whilst the editing and shots are satisfactory enough not to notice their change, it was surprising how much you did notice of the backgrounds. It often deterred me from the action of the film to thinking about when I could hop on a plane and see these locations for myself.
This may not be any “Mammia Mia” and, like some of the other reviews I’ve done, it has a questionable cast and storyline, but all of it is good fun to watch. Sometimes, a lighthearted silly romp is just what you need to see. I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want to take something too seriously. It’s meant to be fun and a good time, and that’s what it is.-By Lucy Walsh