A sister act cleans up in “Sunshine Cleaning”


Movies with two female leads are rare. Movies with two female leads in which they aren’t fighting over a man are rarer still. And movies with two female leads in which they aren’t fighting over a man and are under the age of 50 are the rarest of all. So it was with this kind of Halley’s Comet anticipation that I watched the new trailer for Sunshine Cleaning featuring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt. I was not disappointed.

The film, from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine (find a word that works and stick with it, I guess), is a sometimes comedic, sometimes dramatic look at two sisters — single mom Rose (Amy) and her slacker sister Norah (Emily) — who start a crime-scene cleanup business together to make money. Alan Arkin (another hold-over from Little Miss Sunshine) plays the sisters’ father.

While the set-up may sound a bit grim, the trailer left me smiling.

Quirky, smart, a little dark and a lot interesting, Sunshine Cleaning generated a lot of buzz when it premiered at Sundance in January. The film was rumored to have featured a kiss between Emily and Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), as a woman whose mother’s body was one of the sister’s cleanup jobs. But the scene was snipped in editing. Pity, because anyone who saw My Summer of Love knows Emily can smolder in same-sex scenarios.

Not only does Sunshine Cleaning bring together two of the most promising young actresses around, it is also written by a female screenwriter (Megan Holley) and helmed by a female director (Christine Jeffs). If anyone asks why it’s important to have more women behind the scenes in Hollywood, show them this trailer.

So, what do you think? Are you as happy as I am to see a film that follows the Bechdel Rule come to a theater near you? And how perfect are Amy and Emily as sisters? Wait, does anyone else feel like singing “Closer to Fine” all of a sudden?

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