Sunshine State

Bomb Rating: 

I have no idea why this movie takes place in Florida, which means there's really no reason for the movie to exist at all. One supposes the original idea was that the setting would supply some sort of unique perspective on life, but you could set this story about encroaching development in just about any state, and it would be just about as boring.

This is one of those ensemble cast movies, which means that there are too many characters to keep track of and by the time the film is over, you feel like you've been through a job fair at a convention center. If there are two central characters, they're probably Marly Temple (Edie Falco) and Desiree Perry (Angela Bassett). Marly runs a motel owned by her father (Ralph Waite) and has never really left the little resort town and resents that she's stuck there. Desiree has returned with her new husband (James McDaniel) to visit her mother (Mary Alice), but must confront the unpleasant events that caused her to leave.

Tossed in this mix are a number of other characters who are primarily window-dressing for the movie. The most pointless of these is Murray Silver (Alan King), who doesn't interact with any of the other important characters. Instead, he just golfs and provides a Shakespearian chorus-like commentary for us to hear and go "hmmm, that's very interesting" or "who is this jack-off?" Other characters include the developer (Miguel Ferrer), a peppy town event organizer (Mary Steenburgen), her suicidal husband (Gordon Clapp), and a local doctor (Bill Cobbs) trying to stop the development. The effect is akin to sitting through an evening of bad dinner theater as each bit character milks his or her lines to the fullest. If you want to experience the sunshine state, I suggest you get a blistering sunburn, subject yourself to a shark attack, or try to vote for a Democrat in Palm Beach County -- you'll find the experience to be much more rewarding than anything this film has to offer.

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