The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Details
|Directed by||Ry Russo-Young|
|Screenplay by||Tracy Oliver|
|Based on||The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon|
|Music by||Herdis Stefánsdóttir|
|Edited by||Joe Landauer|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$6.6 million|
I kinda knew what I was letting myself in for with this one, but hoped to be pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, I can’t say this film surprised me, but I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t pleasant.
Based on the novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon, The Sun is Also a Star sees the smooth-talking Daniel Jae Ho Bae (Charles Melton) try to convince the cynical Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi) that love is real; and that he can prove it by making her fall in love with him in a day.
I think a person’s enjoyment of this movie will very much depend on how they feel about cheesy romance flicks in general. As a genre, I don’t have a problem with romance movies. Some of them can be fantastic (eg ‘The Longest Ride’), but the problems come when they become too corny. Sadly ‘corny’ and ‘predictable’ are the two words I noted immediately upon leaving the cinema. As I figured going in that was what the movie was going for, however, I can’t really criticize it too harshly for being that. There’s an audience who lap that stuff up with glee and fair play for catering to that audience.
Aside from the corniness one of the main negatives I had was the screenplay. From what I’ve heard the book is really popular and highly acclaimed. In converting the novel into a screenplay however it would seem that things have become rushed, and apparently important characters and subplots have been removed. Having not read the book I can’t go into any detail about the differences, but I can tell you that parts of the film definitely felt rushed. In addition, I thought that much of the dialogue was actually really weak. Again, I don’t know if that’s a fault with the novel or the screenplay, but either way, it’s a weakness for the movie.
An arguably minor issue, but I was confused about the job of John Leguizamo’s character Jeremy Martinez. He crosses paths with our main characters but for completely different reasons. When dealing with Natasha he appears to have the role of a lawyer, but then when dealing with Daniel he’s interviewing him about studying to become a doctor. Maybe I missed something, but it confused me why he has these two differing roles. Perhaps someone (probably someone who has read the book) can educate me.
The thing about these types of movies though is that it all hinges on the performances and believability of the couple at the heart of the story. In this case, I can’t deny the on-screen chemistry of the two leads. Melton and Shadidi are two very attractive people who together make a really cute couple. At times their acting abilities could be called into question, but the forgiving part of me thinks that could be down to the weak script they had to work from.
If I had to pick out a scene I enjoyed the most it would probably be the (as featured in the trailer) karaoke scene, where Daniel sings ‘Crimson and Clover’. It’s not a song I particularly like, but it fitted the mood well and he actually has a brilliant singing voice.
Although I wasn’t surprised by the main story, something I didn’t expect when I went to the cinema this morning was to be given a history lesson about Korea and wigs. I won’t go into detail now, but I found that part quite interesting. Differing culture is a theme of this movie, one which I would have liked to have seen explored further.
I think there might have been potential for a really good film here. A better screenplay – and also a less revealing trailer – could have turned a particular plotline into a great twist. Had the actors had a more powerful dialogue to work from I also believe their performances could have been greater. All in all the Sun is Also a Star is just a basic, fairly corny romance, which (although not bad) will likely be forgotten about very quickly.