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"SUNSHINE STATE"
(2002) (Edie Falco, Angela Bassett) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Moderate Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Mild Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Various people deal with the presence and effects of progress and the past in their formerly sleepy coastal communities.
PLOT:
In the coastal community of Plantation Island, Florida, real estate development is threatening to change the way of life for the locals. Among them is Marly Temple (EDIE FALCO). Once a performing mermaid, her days of underwater swimming, as well as her marriage to Steve Tregaskis (RICHARD EDSON) and more recently relationship with golf pro Scotty Duval (MARC BLUCAS) are over.

She currently runs the local motel and restaurant founded by her now disabled and ornery father, Furman (RALPH WAITE), while her mother, Delia (JANE ALEXANDER), continues to run the local community theater group.

Unlike Marly who's lived there her entire life, industrial/infomercial actress Desiree Perry (ANGELA BASSETT) has reluctantly returned with her anesthesiologist husband Reggie (JAMES McDANIEL) to her hometown of Lincoln Beach, a nearby African American community also threatened by developers. Her opinionated mother, Eunice Stokes (MARY ALICE), still lives there and is caring for a young and troubled boy, Terrell Bernard (ALEXANDER LEWIS), but isn't as concerned about the ensuing development as is long-time activist Dr. Lloyd (BILL COBBS).

Meanwhile over at Delrona Beach, Francine Pickney (MARY STEENBURGEN) is trying to organize the town's annual celebration, but isn't happy that participation and enthusiasm for the tradition have waned. Her depressed and debt-ridden husband, Earl (GORDON CLAPP), has even bigger problems and repeatedly tries to commit suicide.

As the various locals try to get on with living their lives, the pending real estate developments, as well as the arrival of various people upset their plans. For Desiree, it's the appearance of Flash Phillips (TOM WRIGHT), the former football star and her former lover who's fallen on hard times. For Marly, it's Jack Meadows (TIMOTHY HUTTON), a landscape architect who's arrived to transform part of the town into a gated community and has become interested in her.

As Murray Silver (ALAN KING) and his golfing buddies discuss the changes that are occurring around them, the rest of the locals try to deal with the developments and pending changes, as well as their pasts, as best as they can.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or the work of writer/director John Sayles ("Limbo," "Lone Star"), it doesn't seem very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language, a sexual reference and thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • EDIE FALCO plays a divorcée who apparently sleeps with several men and tries to decide if she can continue to run her father's motel and restaurant in the shadow of the looming development. She uses some strong profanity and is briefly intoxicated.
  • JANE ALEXANDER plays her optimistic and cheery mother who runs the local community theater group.
  • RALPH WAITE plays Marly's surly father who's legally blind and sits around complaining about how the world has changed.
  • ANGELA BASSETT plays an industrial/infomercial actress who reluctantly returns to her hometown where she must deal with her opinionated mother and memories of being sent away when she was a pregnant teen.
  • JAMES McDANIEL plays her good-natured husband who tries to help her through that as well as help Terrell.
  • MARY ALICE plays Desiree's manipulative and opinionated mother who tries to lay a guilt trip on her.
  • BILL COBBS plays an older local resident who's opposed to the development plans.
  • GORDON CLAPP plays a suicidal man who's despondent over his gambling debt.
  • MARY STEENBURGEN plays his wife who's upset with the apathy regarding the town's annual ceremony over which she's presiding.
  • TIMOTHY HUTTON plays a landscape architect who arrives to transform part of the island into a gated community and ends up getting romantically involved with Marly. He drinks some and apparently sleeps with her.
  • TOM WRIGHT plays a former football star who returns to his hometown in order to make some money. He uses some profanity and is noted as having gotten Desiree pregnant in the past.
  • MARC BLUCAS plays a golf pro and Marly's boyfriend who sets off on the tour and thus leaves her.
  • RICHARD EDSON plays Marly's ex-husband and former musician who wants to borrow money from her.
  • ALEXANDER LEWIS plays a troubled kid who's being raised by Eunice. In one scene, he's set a parade float on fire.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of 2 uses of the "f" word, along with other expletives and colorful phrases. Some sexually related dialogue is present, some sexual encounters are implied, a teen pregnancy from the past is briefly discussed, and some women show some cleavage.

    Thematic issues involve that past teen pregnancy, a suicidal man (who twice attempts to kill himself), and various tense family material. Meanwhile, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and a few characters smoke and/or drink, with two being slightly intoxicated from the latter.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Dr. Lloyd says he blames Terrell's problems on the drugs (referring to Terrell's father being high on something and then shooting the mother before killing himself in front of the young boy).
  • Furman has a drink.
  • A man carries a beer.
  • Some men drink.
  • Various people drink beer.
  • We see that Marly has been drinking shots of Tequila and she joins Jack who has a beer. Later, she appears rather intoxicated and he's a bit drunk as well.
  • There's talk of Steve being "drunk as a skunk" in the past and there's talk of him being on the wagon.
  • Some people drink.
  • Marly wakes up in bed and we see a glass of wine next to her.
  • Marly has a drink.
  • Jack has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We see that Terrell has purposefully set a mock ship (to be used as a parade float) on fire.
  • Desiree doesn't like her mother or being back in her hometown.
  • Furman has an ornery attitude toward most everyone and everything.
  • Some of the local residents view the developers as having bad attitudes toward them and the land, and several men act like they're working against the developers, but are really working with them.
  • We hear that Desiree apparently stole a man away from another local woman in the past (although they got back together).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Earl tries to commit suicide by hanging himself in the woods, but the branch he uses bends down and sets him on the ground.
  • Later, Earl places a large nail gun to his head to kill himself, but is interrupted before he gets the chance to fire it.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see Steven and other period re-enactors with rifles over their shoulders (at some fort where there are also period cannons).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "If you're going to drink, why f*ck around?" "Ate that sh*t up," "Sh*t out of luck," "You're sh*tting me," "Sh*t happens," "Get laid" (sexual), "Tough t*tty," "T*tty bars," "Nuts" (testicles), "Cracker ass," "Full of crap," "How the hell should I know?" "Half-assed," "What the hell?" and "Idiot."
  • We see that Terrell has purposefully set a mock ship (to be used as a parade float) on fire. Later, we see him light a book of matches and then watch it burning.
  • Earl tries to commit suicide by hanging himself in the woods, but the branch he uses bends down and sets him on the ground. Later, he places a large nail gun to his head to kill himself, but is interrupted before he gets the chance to fire it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "f" words, 8 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("get laid"), 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*tty"), 9 damns, 6 hells, 4 asses, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B. and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Lord," "Oh my God" and "My Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Marly in her bra as she gets dressed after apparently having sex with Scotty who's still in bed, shirtless.
  • Marly walks out to an area where she tells Jack that she and others used to neck. It's now brightly lit at night and she refers to that as "birth control." She's a bit intoxicated and suddenly tells him that sex with her when she's that drunk is like being at the dentist. She adds that it's like being shot with Novocain, adding that you can feel something is going on in there, but don't know what it is. She then tells him to forget such a notion (of having sex with her). However, they do briefly kiss.
  • Marly reminds Steven that he wanted to be rich and famous with his band and "get laid" a lot.
  • A construction man says that his workers went to a "t*tty bar."
  • A woman shows a little cleavage.
  • A sculpture shows female bare breasts, but they're not intended to look realistic.
  • Marly mentions that people think her motel is a "hot sheets" operation (meaning sexual).
  • We see some young woman performing as mermaids underwater at a show and they wear bikini tops that show some cleavage.
  • Francine shows cleavage, as does Desiree in a later scene.
  • We learn that Flash got Desiree pregnant in the past as a teenager (but he didn't know that).
  • Marly wakes up in bed, apparently with Jack (we only see part of his head), suggesting they had sex.
  • SMOKING
  • Flash smokes once, an occasionally seen golfer smokes cigars several times, and some minor/miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Marly is divorced and see some scenes with her and her ex-husband.
  • We see that Desiree doesn't get along well with her mother (since the former was sent away years ago when she was a pregnant teen, and the mother complains that Desiree never writers nor calls her).
  • Dr. Lloyd says he blames Terrell's problems on the drugs (referring to Terrell's father being high on something and then shooting the mother before killing himself in front of the young boy).
  • Marly comments on her older twin brothers who died in the past in an auto accident.
  • We learn that Jack is divorced and that his kids live with the ex-wife and her new husband.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Progress versus tradition.
  • Earl tries to commit suicide by hanging himself in the woods, but the branch he uses bends down and sets him on the ground. We later learn that he has a gambling problem and then see him nearly kill himself again.
  • Dr. Lloyd's comments that things aren't necessarily better for blacks after the civil rights movement (since before then, blacks owned their own businesses in black communities).
  • We hear that Desiree was sent away as a teen due to being pregnant (and that she lost the baby).
  • Dr. Lloyd says he blames Terrell's problems on the drugs (referring to Terrell's father being high on something and then shooting the mother before killing himself in front of the young boy).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see that Terrell has purposefully set a mock ship (to be used as a parade float) on fire (we don't see the actual act, but do see the consequences).
  • Earl tries to commit suicide by hanging himself in the woods, but the branch he uses bends down and sets him on the ground. Later, he places a large nail gun to his head to kill himself, but is interrupted before he gets the chance to fire it.



  • Reviewed May 14, 2002 / Posted July 12, 2002

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