Sunlight Jr., directed by Laurie Collyer and inspired by Barbara Ehrenreich’s book “Nickel and Dimed,” talks about a couple residing in Florida, struggling at life as a result of their poor decisions made in the past, are now beginning to shed that pain away and better their miserable lives. Melissa (Naomi Watts), 45, who works as a cashier at Sunlight Jr. and Richie (Matt Dillon), 49, a former electronics repairman living on his government disability check, both proved to be surprisingly compatible as a couple in this movie.
A well-portrayed social drama magnifying the issues of the typical American working class, highlighting their worries of a sudden illness that might lead to a ridiculously large medical bill. The movie constitutes in itself the very ups and downs that an average American might go through every day of their life. From the concerns and the no-rights policy of an employee to the very misery that a human being might face when short of money, Sunlight Jr. beautifully covers it all.
The couple’s addiction to cigarettes and Richie’s practice of drinking cause much of their inadequate income to be spent on feeding these bad habits. Moreover, an unexpected pregnancy was when reality hit this Floridian couple hard, and despite having its own perks at first, later, with the passage of time, demanded a greater deal from Melissa and her handicapped boyfriend.
As this reality set in and they lost their small motel room along with all the other difficulties, they proved unable to keep up with all of it and mother missy, eventually took the cruel decision of terminating her pregnancy and getting rid of the child she was over joyed to see for the first time.
Surely, this movie turns out to be endlessly depressing while it holds a great amount of pain almost side-stepping the epic idea of entertainment. Also, with that background music, it brings the audience awfully close to reality tapping into the facts of life, and if you’re up for a real life story, this is definitely the one for you.
As far as acting and dialogues are concerned, Naomi and Matt undeniably put in a lot of effort, yet not fully able to express a slight down-to-Earth sort of a behavior that was required of them through their body language as well as their dialogue delivery, may they be flashes of delight or ticks of sorrow.
Although a better end to the story could have been plotted, with lesser of the tragedy that was involved, this movie, on the whole, was able to signify what its mission was- the difficulties of a typical minimum wage worker and thus, qualified to earn a 61% and a 5.7 out of a 10 on the IMDb ratings.
Hollywood movies involve the most of glamour and excitement while Independent movies, on the other hand, aim to provide the audience the taste of what reality is actually like. With all the difficulties put forward, Melissa’s ex-boyfriend stalking her, the fear of large medical bills after the pregnancy came forward.
Melissa’s harsh boss firing her for the outburst when she spoke for her right, the couple moving into Melissa’s drunk mother’s house once they were unable to afford their small motel room, and the little baby being aborted, all work together in explaining to the audience how food on to the table is decorated by all means for the love of your life, and how gas in the tank outlines every minimum wage worker’s day.
The on-screen couple gets you involved into the whole script to such an extent that you wish those days were, by one way or the other, a little easier. This makes Sunlight Jr. touch its sole goal, being one of the best independent films of 2013.
Sunlight Jr., a movie focusing on the life of an average American earning minimum wage and how he has to face immense hardships in the duration of his life.