In Brief: Yes, the sun is a star. So what? That also pretty much sums up this movie.
Yes, the sun is a star. We all know that. Who doesn’t? The center of our planetary system even has a name. It’s Sol. There have been many good movies with the sun as part of the title. Many sci-fi films about Sol have used the star as a subject.
Some of them have been very good movies. This one is not.
The Sun is Also a Star features a young woman who is in awe of the sun, the solar system and the universe. She gives us — and the film’s love interest — a lot of quotes from the late, great astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist and author Carl Sagan and makes lots of references to many different aspects of space. Some of those bits are interesting.
What’s problematic for the movie is that those tidbits are much more interesting than the feeble love story that accompanies them. She’s Natasha. Jamaican born, she and her family are considered here illegally and will be deported the next day.
The guy at the center of this film’s universe is Daniel. He’s Korean and is expected to become a doctor. It’s his parents’ idea. He has little interest in anything medical and wants to be a poet. He can’t be one because you just don’t disappoint immigrant parents, do you?
Natasha and Daniel meet in a way that can only be described as fate. He sees it as being in the stars. She sees it as him being overly schmaltzy. By the way, I’m with her on that one, and think the whole premise is cheesy. But it’s not aimed at me. This is a movie that will only be loved by those in love with love and drippy love stories.
He’s convinced that love will win and that a lawyer involved in how they met will come to the rescue and save the day. Her family stays and they will be in love forever. She eventually buys it.
Remember, I sacrifice my time and see movies like this so you don’t have to see them. This one is awful with a capital A. That said, there are two positives. The first is Yara Shahidi who plays Natasha and Charles Melton who does Daniel. They have excellent chemistry.
Unfortunately, chemistry doesn’t help.
The second positive is a terrific soundtrack. However, I would have liked it a lot better in a different movie. So, probably, would you.
Director: Sy Russo-Young
Stars: Yara Shahidi, Charles Melton, John Leguizamo, Jake Choi, Cathy Shim
The sun sets very quickly on this one and it gets a not-so-friendly Friday Flicks with Gary 1 on the o to 5 scale.
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Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.