That the film :
A) marketed as 'from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine',
B) stars Alan Arkin as a grump OAP friendly with a grandchild and
C) is NAMED Sunshine Cleaning does not bode well for this film, as had I not received it for free to review I certainly would have never watched it simply for the shameless, tenuous ties to that other, much better film. Still, watch it I did, and honestly I'm glad I did, as it's better than it's cold-footed marketers would have you believe.
In addition to sparking thousands of "who's the hotter sister" debates, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt turn in decent performances as somewhat directionless siblings entering into the crime-scene-cleanup business to make some quick cash, while their father (Arkin) plots to get rich quick and pals around with Adams' bratty son (some jerk). Other characters come and go, including one-armed model builder Winston and a remarkably grown-up looking Steve Zahn as the adulterous cop. The plot slowly meanders along and doesn't quite deliver either the laughs that the blackly comic premise promises, OR the deeper questions of morality and desensitization one would expect. To be honest, there's little here we haven't seen before, from the odd pairing of Arkin and grandson (LMS did it much better) to the woes of a single mother with a pesky, smart-but-bored kid. The photography is superb though, and the DVD transfer suitably clean (unlike many other recent releases that dirty up the print so you HAVE to buy the BR- rant over).
Worth a watch if you're a fan of either of the leads, just don't be expecting any of the quirks the DVD blurb implies. Half-hearted.