What happens when your first holiday romance is getting married… to your sister?
Maddie (played by Annabel Scholey) is getting hitched to hunk Raphael (played by Giulio Berruti). Taylor (Hannah Arterton, younger sister of Gemma Arterton) is returning to attend her sister Maddie’s wedding in Italy’s sun-drenched town of Puglia. All seems to be picture perfect. But is it?
Unbeknownst to Maddie, Raf and Taylor had an intense holiday fling and that is just one of the many setbacks on Maddie and Raf’s road to happily ever after.
The two pretend they’ve never met to avoid upsetting Maddie. But how long can secrets be kept under wraps?
Many would find Walking on Sunshine much like a rehash of Mamma Mia! (the popular musical set to Abba songs) – only with more musical variety. Walking on Sunshine features popular retro hits from the 1980s such as “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Madonna’s “Holiday”. Is this a story for an older audience but with a young cast to attract the younger generation as well?
“Don’t You Want Me, Baby?” was an easy choice of song for the scene where Maddie’s ex tries to win her back, since the ready-made lyrics fit in handily. We can’t help but suspect that the producers had picked a dozen hits from a particular decade before joining the dots to form a cliché two-for-one romance.
Seriously, one has to question if this is worth the price of the ticket. Still, the songs are undoubtedly lively and once popular, for those who love music from that era. The young and attractive cast also helps to raise interest levels.
Fun Cast to Save a Mediocre Plot
It’s hard to expect much of a storyline in a common tale of two sisters entangled in a love triangle but there seems to be enough ingenuity in the execution and enthusiasm from the cast to appeal to audiences.
While the young Arterton’s portrayal of Taylor has an endearing sincerity on top of her girl-next-door looks, one can easily forgive Berruti’s limitations in his acting for his male model perfection.
The supporting actors seem to have done a better job at bringing their characters to life. Look out for Greg Wise who’s immensely likeable despite the character’s shiftiness, and Danny Kirrane who will wow you with his dance moves.
Singer Leona Lewis plays Taylor’s spirited best friend, Elena, and her portrayal was surprisingly natural for her debut acting role. Although only Lewis as well as Giulio Corso are professional singers, the rest of the cast show off impressive vocal ability.
A mainstream yet delicious jukebox musical, Walking on Sunshine has the potential to leave you feeling warm, upbeat, and slightly blinded by all the blazing colours and sunshine. Just don’t come with high expectations.
Walking on Sunshine [PG]
DIRECTOR: Max Giwa & Dania Pasquini
STARRING: Annabel Scholey, Hannah Arterton, Leona Lewis & Greg Wise
GENRE: Musical, Romance
RUN LENGTH: 98 min
RELEASE: 10 Jul