Sunshine on Leith: Movie Review
Cast: Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas, Jane Horrocks, Jason Flemyng, George McKay, Peter Mullan, Freya Mavor
Director: Dexter Fletcher
It really shouldn't work - a musical based on the songs of the speccy eyed twins, The Proclaimers....and yet, here it is.
Sunshine on Leith is based on the stage hit of the same name and is the story of two soldiers, Davy and Ally (Guthrie and McKay) who return to Edinburgh after their platoon is attacked in Afghanistan.
However, the duo are faced with family and love problems as they head back to their home town - and their parents (Mullan and Horrocks) are beset by their own issues - when a long lost daughter from an affair shows up.
Essentially, Sunshine on Leith is one of those bubblegum musicals that's as effervescent as it is disposable. With people bursting into song all over the place, you'd expect it to rankle as the tunes are belted out from within panoramics of an eternally sunny Scotland (surely some CGI trickery).
But yet, Sunshine on Leith delivers a feel good movie of fun and charm - and even tosses a Proclaimers cameo in very early on. It helps that the songs are part of the narrative rather than casually thrown in when the story appears to hit a lull - it's this natural feeling that ensures this musical fits in with the singalong nature of some of the Proclaimers biggest hits.
And yep, they're there - a flash mob of 500 Miles, Letter From America, and Let's Get Married are all guaranteed to see you smiling along (500 Smiles anyone?). With the genial cast all doing their own singing, and Dexter Fletcher framing the whole piece so nicely, it's a perfectly pleasant piece that's got more charm than you'd ever expect.