Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Walking On Sunshine

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Maddie and Taylor are very close sisters. They know each other inside out, and nothing could cause a rift in their perfect sisterly bond. So when a trip to visit Maddie on the Italian coast is arranged, Taylor is overjoyed at spending the week.
Upon her arrival, Maddie breaks the news that she is to be married in just two days – and that it’s time to meet the groom.
Taylor can’t wait.
Except there’s just one snag.

The groom is her ex-boyfriend.

 

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Cast

Hannah Arterton – Taylor

Annabel Scholey – Maddie

Giulio Berruti – Raf

Greg Wise – Doug

Katy Brand – Lil

Leona Lewis – Elena

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Bearable

That was bloody hilarious. And the most bearable of cheese fests I’ve ever sat through. Before going to see this movie I assumed it would be complete bollocks – as in Mamma Mia bollocks. You know that nausea-inducing tripe which is so bad its good, where you sit cringing throughout at the style of acting and way in which characters burst into song. Walking On Sunshine was refreshingly different.
A sort of watered-down Mamma Mia, it follows the same path of light, airy love story whereby each character frequently has something to say – in the form of a song. Only unlike Mamma Mia and varius other musical farces, Walking On Sunshine doesn’t burst into song every few seconds, making it a vey bearable watch.
I honestly assumed I’d be cringing throughout and detesting the dramatic characters, but I wasn’t. I sat. And I watched. And dare I say – enjoyed

 

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The Big Surprise

At the beginning of the movie you are introduced to family friend Lil. The larger than life woman lays on a sun lounger by Maddie’s pool, before staggering to her feet and pouncing on Taylor in a warm welcome.
The woman is BIG.
Very big.
Everywhere.

I shit a brick.

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Seriously, if she came running at me with her arms open wide I would fucking shit myself. As well as towering over her friends, Lil is the cliché saucy minx you find in those ‘frumpy rumpy-pumpy’ films; full of make-up and hair dye, licking her lips slowly at men in order to seduce them – but ultimately scaring them shitless. And although slightly scary, she is a great addition to the cast and adds a colourful dynamic which mixes well with her on-screen colleagues.

Oh, and I had absolutely no idea she is Katy Brand. No bloody idea whatsoever!

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I’ve seen (and even laughed at) Katy Brand on television – her sketch show things are very witty. But she must be largely (pun fully intended) forgettable, because I sat looking right at the girl throughout the entire movie with no recollection of ‘seeing her somehwere else before’. In fact the only thought I had was, “she looks a bit like a blonde, overweight River Song from Doctor Who”.

I have to be honest here, her acting was faultless. Especially at the end of the movie where morning of the wedding she has a heart-to-heart with Taylor. The emotion expressed in her performance was completely convincing, she kept me interested in what was going on. Terryifying but talented.

 

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Diet Cock

So she spends most of the movie lusting after the sexy Italian dude, but I swear I’ve seen Hannah Arterton somewhere before. As I watched her gliding around the screen biting her bottom lip in a deliciously “I want Raf’s biggun’ inside me” fashion, I immediately recognised the girl.
That Diet Coke advert.

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They used to play it in cinemas a lot earlier this year; sexy man mowing the grass in a random field, bunch of horny women sat across the field watching him. One of them throws the man a can of Diet Coke – he pauses his mowing – and pops the can open and drenches his t-shirt with exploding soda, subsequently removing it to reveal ripped, wet muscles. The ladies sit staring in awe, due to the fact the gentleman has pectorals – which they may not have witnessed before going by the looks on their faces. The blonde one up at the back of the group – It’s her from Walking On Sunshine.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this.

 

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The Songs

This movie specialises in hits from the 1980’s. Obviously. Tracks used include:

“Holiday” (Madonna)
“Venus” (Bananarama) 
“How Will I Know” (Whitney Houston)
“The Power of Love” (Huey Lewis and the News)
“Don’t You Want Me” (The Human League)
“Walking on Sunshine” (Katrina and the Waves)
“Eternal Flame” (The Bangles)
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Cyndi Lauper)
“The Wild Boys” (Duran Duran)
“It Must Have Been Love” 
“Faith” (George Michael)
“White Wedding” (Billy Idol)
“If I Could Turn Back Time” (Cher)
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (Wham!)

I must say, the singing and overall performance are not overcooked at all. Again, Mamma Mia made me feel physically sick with how often they burst into song and dance, but this little beauty quite literally flows like a normal movie yet when a character does give us a tune, it is nowhere near as cheesy and lengthy as Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan’s attempt at showbiz. On the contrary, a song will end as swiftly as it begun with no dragged-out high notes or lingering looks at each other.
Walking On Sunshine is lots of fun. As I sat watching it, I could feel the atmopshere on set – how the cast must’ve felt whilst filming it. Annabel specifically gives off a vibrant glow and looks as though she’s having a ball throughout. Her whole energetic, enthusiastic approach is admirable. She’s fantastic.

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Leona and Giulio are the better vocalists, and this is obviously displayed during the movie’s screen time. There are scenes which involve three of four characters singing a few lines each – and when it hits Leona’s or Giulio’s I could definitely hear the difference, they come in on songs and make an impact like Obama in the White House – the dynamics make such a difference. But Jesus, when it comes to Doug.. that’s totally different. Greg singing Human League’s Don’t You Want Me made my toes curl. He is bloody AWFUL.
Or awfully enjoyable?..

You’ll have to make your own minds up.

 

 

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Stray’s

I love Stray’s. (straight gays). You get them in many live theatre productions, mostly in musical movies. The obviously homosexual man who is cast to act like a ladie’s man and flirt with the lead female – giving the appearance of a typical masculine heterosexual, yet in real life is an experienced ‘Sausage Jockey’.

The opening scene sees Taylor disembark an aircraft and dance through the airport terminal to a popular ‘holiday’ song. As she flirts and wriggles her way round the pilots, I couldn’t help but laugh – the rosy-cheeked, chiseled gay guys in pilot uniforms had that bashful, “I’m so gay but today I’m being straight!” look on their faces. I loved it. Even some of the guys dressed as holidaymakers were total benders, it was all so wonderfully homosexual – very bubblegum.

Blimey, I never discover such yummy gay boys when I go into Soho – I’m no 32inch waist myself, but fuck me they’re always either too furry or too saggy.
’tis a strange world.

 

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Share And Share Alike

The main plot here is Taylor trying to keep her previous relationship with Raf a secret from Maddie, to prevent her sister from knowing the truth. Because if Maddie discovers she is Raf’s Sloppy Seconds, it may turn her world upside down…

The thing I liked about the plot is how incredibly simple and easy to follow it is. It is light and airy, and doesn’t weigh itself down with lengthy sub-plots or dialogue. Simple story, easy production, catchy songs.
Of course there were one or two stupid bits – for example, when Maddie, Lil and Taylor sing Venus around the poolside, Maddie accidentally plummets into the water – but very clearly holds her nose on the way down. (come on girl make the effort, you’re on film). And towards the end of the movie when Maddie exits her wedding car outside the church; Taylor announces how beautiful she is – yet she looks absolutely no different from how she did in previous parts of the movie!?

Despite these silly bits, Walking On Sunshine is 100% watchable – just imagine you’re at a relative’s school / college production. Embrace it, but don’t take it too seriously.

 

 

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I felt queasy.
When I first saw the poster of the two females wearing pink heart-shaped sunglasses, I cringed.
When I got my ticket and sat down, I was dreading it.
I therefore conclude that..

..I absolutely bloody loved it.

Walking On Sunshine is wonderfully awful, and awfully wonderful – so bad it’s good.
At the same time, it is colourful, cringeworthy and bursting at the seems with foot-tapping classics. If you’re seeing it for free – its worth every minute. But for the love of fuck don’t shell out a lot of myrrh to see it, just wait for the rental.
This movie is a proper ‘laying on the sofa with a hangover’ watch. Pop the cork and let the fizzy bubbles wash over you.

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5/10

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This entry was posted on June 29, 2014 by .
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