Sunshine State (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  12 July 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,418 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 81 user | 67 critic | 32 from

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 overview, first billed only:
Alex Lewis ...
Eliot Asinof ...
Amanda Wing ...
Kyle Meenan ...


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. As caretaker of her father's motel and restaurant, she's 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 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 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Greetings from ... See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Terra do Sol  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$93,072 (USA) (21 June 2002)


$3,064,356 (USA) (15 November 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Mary Steenburgen and Timothy Hutton; and two Oscar nominees: Jane Alexander and Angela Bassett. See more »


When the bulldozer is about to tear down the trees, there are tracks in the dirt from previous takes. See more »


Marly Temple: Shots. Tequila. I figure, you're gonna drink, why fuck around?
See more »


References Lone Star (1996) See more »


Skeeter Pie
Music by Mason Daring & Duke Levine
Lyrics by John Sayles
Sung by Chris Cole
Performed by Skeeter Meter
Courtesy of Daring Music and Nosam Music
See more »

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User Reviews

If it sounds like Altman, and it looks like Altman...
26 February 2004 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

(2002/John Sayles) ***1/2 out of ****

"In the beginning.....there was nothing."

Small towns are often used as the backdrop for many films, but seldom is the concept often explored. "Sunshine State", like many other films that tackle the concept, offers a slice of life into the world of the people who inhabit a small town, which is, in this case, a beach front town in Northern Florida.

Plantation Island is a picturesque small town. It's residents include many people ranging from different races, including whites, blacks, and Native Americans. But it goes a little deeper. Some of the characters are native to the area, some are just visiting. Edie Falco plays a down-to-earth motel owner, Timothy Hutton plays a land developer, Angela Bassett plays a woman who has just returned to the island after having left when she was 15, and Bill Cobbs plays a retired doctor who doesn't like where the future of the town is going. Throw in a couple of philosophical golf players, and there you have the island of Plantation.

This film has Robert Altman stamped all over it. And that's basically what it is: a toned down mosaic of Floridians, that looks like it was done by Robert Altman himself. This is a very good movie, with deep characters and a story with multiple layers. But the story and scenery can't make up for the periodic lulls here and there. All in all, an above average film that is worth a look.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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