© Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH

The Sun Is Also a Star
U.S.A. 2019

Opening 16 May 2019

Directed by: Ry Russo-Young
Writing credits: Tracy Oliver, Nicola Yoon
Principal actors: Yara Shahidi, Anais Lee, Charles Melton, John Leguizamo, Gbenga Akinnagbe

Full disclosure: as a homesick New Yorker, I may have been a bit generous in my assessment of this film. New York City is a strong supporting character here, and like the principal actors, it is pure eye-candy. Despite some mildly disconcerting camerawork (what’s with all the tilted wide shots?) this movie is 24 hours of multiple Manhattan neighborhoods at their colorful best, in which two absurdly beautiful young people on the cusp of life-changing events fall in love. Backed up by a soundtrack so good I spotified it as soon as I got home, you gotta think, what’s not to like?

Well, you’d best be a romantic for this. Daniel (Melton) certainly is. He has an I’m-gonna-marry-that-girl moment when he first spots Natasha (Shahidi) at Grand Central Station. His confidence in the power of fate is backed up by a string of increasingly outrageous coincidences, which will either delight or annoy you, depending on your own romantic inclinations. She is of a scientific bent, and so, per the cliché, rejects the very notion of love. He changes her mind. But wait! Her family is getting deported tomorrow! Will fate step up one last time and seal the deal for them? Is this truly meant to be?

This film may not pack a powerful emotional punch, but it’s charming, it’s relatively light, and the performances, particularly Melton’s, are strong. And that soundtrack is killer. (Mason Jane Milam)

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