If I could give you one indication of what I thought about this strange and quirky comedy it would be this: The producers, who also made Little Miss Sunshine, the fantastic 2007 road trip comedy starring Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, didn’t jinx themselves. This is another wonderful, touching, well-acted and, above all, funny film starring a laundry list of my favorite actors.
Rose (Amy Adams) is a perpetual optimist, despite her life taking some very bad turns. She is a former cheerleader who now cleans houses and is having an affair with her high school sweetheart, a cop named Mac (Steve Zahn). When Steve suggests Rose start cleaning up crime scenes in order to make ends meet, she recruits her much darker, more cynical sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to help, and Sunshine Cleaning is born.
First of all, I cannot tell you how perfectly cast Adams and Blunt are. I sometimes confuse them in photos, so the sister act was easy to pull off. But their personalities are more yin-yang, Blunt sarcastic and brooding, Adams more like a modified version of her Enchanted character. I loved Adams’ performance for exactly the same reasons I hated Sally Hawkins’ performance in Happy-Go-Lucky. Yes, Adams is optimistic in the face of hardship, but she’s real. She’s vulnerable. You can see her life trying to pull the mask off her face. Alan Arkin makes an encore performance as the girls’ curmudgeonly father, and that is the icing on the cake. It's a 9.