Walking on Sunshine

Walking on Sunshine
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Director: Max Giwa , Dania Pasquini
Cert: 12A
Genre: Musical
Starring: Leona Lewis, Giulio Berrut, Katy Brand, Greg Wise
Running Time: 1 hr 37 mins

Borrowing a plotline from Jane Austen (or, possibly, Byker Grove), Walking on Sunshine follows two sisters as they holiday around the gloriously sunny parts of Italy.

The tackier of the siblings, Maddie (Annabel Scholey of Being Human) has dragged the less chavish Taylor (Gemma Arterton's l'il sis Hannah) to meet Raf, her new ludicrously handsome fiancé (Giulio Berruti). Various hilarious gal pals, including Katy Brand, are already ensconced at a palatial villa for Maddie's surprise whirlwind nuptials. But there's a bigger surprise in the offing: Raf and Taylor were once in love.

Will Taylor's friends – among them beach barmaid Leona Lewis – reveal the truth? Will Maddie's smooth-talking ex- boyfriend (Greg Wise, having a ball) win her back? There's some pretty scenery and a bunch of 1980s tunes – Wild Boys, Eternal Flame, Don't You Want Me – to enjoy until the plot resolves itself.

Whither the margarita movie? Whither the nights of teetering heels at the multiplex? Box office stats suggest that the days when the guys stayed home for the World Cup while the gals giggled in gaggles toward How Stella Got Her Groove Back Part 6 are no more.


This is hardly earth-shattering news. Everybody knows that Sex and the City 2 was a flop. Everybody knows that the rom-com was long ago killed off by the burlier, gender-bending bromance. Everybody knows that women account for more than 40 per cent of receipts for superhero movies.

Consider too, the fraught relationship between cinema and musicals: for every Les Mis hit, there's nine Nines. That goes double for jukebox musicals: Sunshine on Leith was a splendid film that found only a niche audience. Can this deliberately daft, sunny, silly '80s musical buck the odds and become the first karaoke hit since Mamma Mia!?

Maybe so. One couldn't say Walking on Sunshine was nuanced. But if there's an award for Vintage Cheese, then nothing will come close to this nonstop hen party from the makers of StreetDance 3D. If being force-fed Camembert with Strawberry Daquari chasers to the strains of Cher is your idea of fun, then this is for you. Here come the girls.

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic