5.4/10
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Walking on Sunshine (2014)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 27 June 2014 (UK)
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Set to the music of popular hit songs from the 1980s. A beautiful coastal village, present day Italy. After a whirlwind romance, Maddie is preparing to marry gorgeous Italian Raf, and has ... See full summary »

Directors:

Max Giwa (as Max & Dania), Dania Pasquini (as Max & Dania)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Greg Wise ... Doug
Hannah Arterton ... Taylor
Annabel Scholey Annabel Scholey ... Maddie
Giulio Berruti ... Raf
Katy Brand ... Lil
Leona Lewis ... Elena
Joelle Koissi ... Airport Customer
Danny Kirrane ... Mikey
Todor Jordanov ... Dancer (as Todor Maxim)
Rai Quartley ... Air Hostess and Dance Captain
Amy Clare Beales ... Holiday Rep
Susan Fordham ... Holiday Maker
Adrian Quinton Adrian Quinton ... Dancer
Adrian Derrick-Palmer ... Airport Dancer (as Adrian Palmer)
Simone Labarga Simone Labarga ... Dancer (as Simone Schmidt)
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Storyline

Set to the music of popular hit songs from the 1980s. A beautiful coastal village, present day Italy. After a whirlwind romance, Maddie is preparing to marry gorgeous Italian Raf, and has invited her sister Taylor to the wedding. Unbeknownst to Maddie, however, Raf is Taylor's ex-holiday flame, and the love of her life... By: Vertigo Films Written by Vertigo Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Experience a musical with the greatest hits of the 80s. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Italy

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

27 June 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Holiday! See more »

Filming Locations:

Nardo, Apulia, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,462,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vertigo Films, IM Global See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were different reports in 2012 indicating that Kylie Minogue, Gemma Arterton and Samantha Barks were in talks for this film but none of them ultimately appeared. A report by The Wrap also indicated that the film would be about a mother and daughter who fall for the same man, but the film was ultimately about two sisters. See more »

Goofs

The scene after the tomato festival where Taylor and Raf go wash at the beach probably wouldn't show the sun setting on the sea. It's debatable, since the closest shoreline to their location in Apulia is 20 miles north-west, where the sun would always rise over the sea. Though if they traveled 80 miles south-west to the Gulf of Taranto they would be facing the other direction. Since the tomato festival isn't given an exact location is hard to say. See more »

Quotes

Raf: I was just running naked down the street missing my own wedding cos some idiot left me duct-taped to a tree with a donkey.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode dated 27 June 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Eternal Flame
Written by Susanna Hoffs, Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg
Performed by Hannah Arterton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nowhere near as great as its soundtrack, but this is harmless, cheesy fun if you're in the mood for it.
10 July 2014 | by shawneofthedeadSee all my reviews

Very few films aspire to the heights (or, more accurately, depths) of chirpy cheesiness achieved by Mamma Mia!: a cinematic guilty pleasure if ever there was one. Walking On Sunshine is that rare film which does. In fact, it's dancing merrily into theatres, so intent on recreating the unexpected blockbuster success of Mamma Mia! that it's forgotten to tweak the formula even a little bit. And so, we go from the sun-washed beaches of Greece to the sun-washed beaches of Italy, from cheesy but super-catchy ABBA tunes to cheesy but super-catchy 80s pop hits, from an awkward love affair to... an awkward love affair. Do you see where we're going here? The unfortunate thing is that Walking On Sunshine never quite hits on that elusive magic which allowed Mamma Mia! to be so bad and so darn good at the same time.

Here's how the story (what little there is of it) goes: Taylor (Hannah Arterton) meets and falls in love with gorgeous Italian hunk Raf (Giulio Berruti) on a sun-kissed beach in Italy. But the summer is drawing to an end, and she has to be responsible and go back to school. Three years later, when she finally graduates, Taylor returns to the same Italian village to meet her headstrong, impulsive sister Maddie (Annabel Scholey) - whereupon she learns that Maddie, on the rebound from her horrible ex Doug (Greg Wise), is due to get married in a matter of days. The twist in the tale, of course, is that Maddie is planning to marry Raf - the love of Taylor's life.

In other words, the plot, such as it is, is flimsy and contrived. The narrative staggers predictably from song to song, whether it's Taylor and Raf realising they still have feelings for each other (It Must Have Been Love), or Doug and Maddie crooning about their toxic relationship (Don't You Want Me). The characters seem to function on the basis of narrative expediency: Doug, for instance, waltzes in and out of the film, teetering dangerously between unforgivable jerk and viable love interest. Truth be told, if you're looking for depth or complexity, look away now. The film seems to operate on the blithe assumption that yet another karaoke-friendly song will sweep away the awkward writing that preceded it.

The film also falters somewhat where its cast is concerned. All of them are earnest to a fault, belting their numbers with more passion than skill. They certainly work incredibly hard at playing characters with little more complexity than a batch of paper dolls: Arterton is the textbook lovelorn but responsible girl, torn between her head and her heart, while Scholey sizzles efficiently as the bubbly Maddie. But they never really manage to give off the sheer, unmitigated joy that practically radiated from the A-list cast populating the Greek islands in Mamma Mia!. Of the supporting cast, comedienne Katy Brand wins most charismatic honours as the sisters' best friend Lil - not something that can be said of X-Factor winner Leona Lewis, who should really stick to her day job.

To be fair, Walking On Sunshine does have its merits. If you're in the right mood for it, it's a silly, summery burst of fun - not quite as funny and sweet as you might want, but good enough in a pinch. Its soundtrack is great, jumping from Madonna (Holiday) to George Michael (Faith), before taking a delightful detour into tomato-strewn mayhem in the huge musical number that accompanies the title song. There are even a couple of unexpectedly rich character moments that come courtesy of the two sisters: Taylor's bravery in returning for Maddie's wedding is a surprisingly emotional moment and one of the high points of the film.

Of course, when it comes down to it, no amount of critical analysis will matter anyway. Walking On Sunshine is, quite simply, the kind of film that's largely critic-proof. It may not even be as good as Mamma Mia!, and its story and characters are almost wilfully poorly-constructed. But it won't matter because the film is also relentlessly fun, silly, sunny, and cheesy. Berruti is gorgeous to look at, as are the sun-kissed beaches of Italy. The songs are catchy, summery and joyous. That certainly doesn't add up to 'great' but, if you're open to it, it just might add up to 'good enough'.


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