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Dan Rivera González
Ambitious land developers descend on a tiny Florida coastline community, inhabited mostly by local yokels and elderly African Americans. Many of them don't want to see their homes and businesses sacrificed in the name of "progress" (a.k.a. condos, hotels, strip malls, and so on). But the city council appears to be all too willing to let them come in and develop the land. In addition, one weary hotel owner is thinking about giving in and selling. Meanwhile, one prominent African American athlete suddenly becomes interested in buying out his aging neighbors. So now that the wheels of progress appear to be in motion, it seems that a minor miracle is the only thing that can stop it. Written by
"Sunshine State" peers into the lives of a clutter of characters who occupy a small Florida beach town at risk of a hostile takeover by land developers examining the local's reflections, ponderings, musings, and interactions in the onslaught of imminent change. "Sunshine State" is technically and artistically excellent, imbued with a strong sense of local flavor, and hangs firmly onto that which is safe while failing to show us anything new. One can only wonder how dull must be one's life to find the lives of such boring people interesting. A tedious watch at over 2 hours and a bland PG-13 fare, "Sunshine State" will be most appreciated to more mature audiences who can better identify with the experiences of the characters and who are more inclined to be philosophical. (B)
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