Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian content
Short Take: Family fun in the crime scene cleanup business
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2008
Duration: 91 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: R
Director: Christine Jeffs
Writer: Megan Holley
Starring: Mary Lynn Rajskub, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn

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Sunshine Cleaning

Rose (Amy Adams, Julie & Julia) was popular in her Albuquerque high school, dated the football star, and fit in with her peers. But somewhere something went wrong. The quarterback married another woman, and Rose ended up a single mother cleaning houses for a living. She continues to have an affair with Mac (Steve Zahn), somehow thinking that he will choose her in the end. That never happens, but he is a cop and gets her into the crime scene cleanup business with her sister.

Sister Norah (Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria) one day finds a fanny pack with photos inside of what may be a daughter. She’s bothered by the fact that this woman died alone without any relatives even aware of what happened, since their mother died when she was young, so she sets out to find the now grown girl in the picture. When found, Norah isn’t sure what to do, and ends up making friends with Lynn (Mary Lynn Rajskub, Julie & Julia, 24), who works at a blood bank.

They go to dinner and even a party. It’s very unclear what Norah’s intentions are, and it looks like Lynn is going to kiss her at the party. They hang out together until one day, Norah reveals what is going on. Lynn is quite hurt, telling Norah that she thought she was interested in her.

This is a dark comedy, and things happen to destroy the cleaning business – but the girls’ father (Alan Arkin) comes through to bring it back to life and help Rose’s son get into a school where he will achieve.  It’s a film with a positive message about family and coping with life no matter what it brings. (AB)