More noise than signal

The Sun Is Also A Star

Republished from the show notes of my other site, Fuds on Film.

Yara Shahidi’s Natasha Kingsley is an overly rational physics student based in New York who doesn’t believe in love. Charles Melton’s Daniel Bae is a romantic with a belief in destiny, both in general and specifically that he’s destined to be a poet, and not the medical doctor his parents are railroading him into becoming.

Natasha’s got her own concerns with parents, namely launching a last ditch effort to stop them being deported back to Jamaica tomorrow. She’s off to see an immigration lawyer when a rogue car almost knocks her over, being saved by, would you believe, Daniel. So begins a whirlwind romance, of the sort you’ve seen before a couple of dozen times, certainly if you’re as old as I am.

There’s not a great deal more to it than that, really. It’s primarily about the characters of Natasha and Daniel, and their getting to know each other and falling in love before being ripped apart, which if we’re brutally honest isn’t all that well sketched out, and a clutch of coincidences masquerading as destiny that just doesn’t add up to a whole lot. It is to Shahidi and Melton’s credit that something so flyaway isn’t a total drag, as they both have charm and charisma to spare, which this film coasts by on.

I don’t want to be too harsh on this film – it’s entirely inoffensive stuff, and doesn’t really deserve the box office battering it’s taken. I also must recognise that I’m at least twenty years outside of the target audience. That said, it’s tough to recommend anyone actually go out of their way to see this. There’s many better examples of the type, and while this is one of the very few to feature two non-white leads, that representation doesn’t overcome the lack of inspiration shown in the rest of the film.

Soft pass.