6.9/10
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82 user 70 critic

Sunshine State (2002)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 12 July 2002 (USA)
A woman and her new husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida, and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate development.

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7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Lewis ...
Terrell Wilkins
...
Murray Silver
...
Jefferson Cash
...
Buster Bidwell
Eliot Asinof ...
Silent Sam
...
Reggie Perry
...
Desiree Perry
...
Amanda Wing ...
Krissy
...
Jack Meadows
...
Greg
...
Lester
...
Earl Pinkney
Kyle Meenan ...
Dick Yordan
...
Francine Pinkney
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Storyline

Real estate developers descend upon a sleepy coastal Florida community with the promise of big money and bigger changes. Torn between honoring family obligations and the lure of quick cash, the locals greet the outsiders with a wildly mixed reception. Marly Temple is eager to give in and sell the family business to start over her life. As caretaker of her father's motel and cafe, she has grown resentful of missed opportunities. However, she finds a glimmer of hope in a tentative romance with a visiting landscape architect. Desiree Perry left town many years ago to escape a scandal and make a name for herself as an actress. Reluctantly returning home, she finds her strong willed mother unwilling to let go of the past. Written by Susan C. Mitchell <susanm@indirect.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Greetings from... Sunshine State. Take a vacation with John Sayles. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, a sexual reference and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Terra do Sol  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,072, 23 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,064,356, 17 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles: almost gets hit by the golf ball in the closing scene. See more »

Goofs

During the conversation between Desiree and her mother on the beach, the door to the house is suddenly closed, though there is no evidence of anyone having closed it and it makes no sound. See more »

Quotes

Steve Tregaskis: [dressed as a Civil War re-enactor] You can't live in the past.
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Connections

References Lone Star (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Merle World
Written by Kostas Lazarides, Jim Lauderdale
Performed by Jim Lauderdale
Courtesy of Dualtone Music
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User Reviews

 
Don't Expect a Good Movie
8 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

I understand that people have different expectations of low-budget, arthouse movies. I also know that John Sayles has a sort of glow about him, that earthy, intellectual anti-hollywood vibe, a la Tim Robbins, the Coen brothers and Atom Egoyan, that makes him a darling with the critics from the get-go.

But this is not a good movie. I'm sorry, it just isn't.

It meanders. It has too many characters. Its tone is uneven, its point of view is muddled, the acting is all over the board, from naturalistic to over the top. It lingers for long moments with minor characters we don't care about and cuts away from tense scenes just when things are getting good.

It misses the mark.

The worst flaw in the movie is that the two closest things to a protagonist, Edie Falco's Marly and Angela Bassett's Desiree, are straight-jacketed in characters that have no drive. Marly is an apathetic drunk, steeped in her life's own inertia. Desiree is a woman trapped in her own repressed pain. When your two main characters' world-views can be summed up with the phrases "I don't care" and "I want to leave here," why should the audience give a rat's patootie?

I'll be plain: Sayles writes funny dialogue. He's very adept at crafting a scene. The problem is, these scenes don't go anywhere. There's no spine to the movie. No drive. The movie doesn't create rooting interest in any of the characters. In my opinion, he's also too preachy about big bad corporate America gobbling up the little guy.

If you want to see a quality "small" movie, see David Lynch's "Straight Story." Pass this one up.


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