The Sun is Also a Star is boring and another opposites-attract romantic fantasy. The beauty and charm of the film may steer you away from the seriousness of it.
Directed by Ry Russo-Young, the movie stars Yara Shahidi of “Black-ish” as Natasha Kingsley and Charles Melton of “Riverdale” as Daniel Bae. This starry-eyed movie based on the book of the same title published in 2016 by Nicola Yoon brings together pragmatic Kingsley and the poetic hopeless romantic Bae. Kingsley is heading to meet a lawyer about her family being deported back to Jamaica the next day and Bae is heading to a meeting with a Dartmouth alumni to secure a spot to become a doctor.
This dramatic and romantic movie is rated PG-13 for the suggestive content and language. It was released May 17 and grossed $4.7 million in the first week.
Every other minute of the 94 minute movie is boring. The dialogue is generic, cringey and on-the-nose. One of the young adult movie tropes is self-aware narration where the lead states the themes.
Kingsley is getting deported that day and instead of making sure she gets to her appointment on time, she’s messing around with Bae, which is irritating. This movie should be deeper but is filled with fluff. At least the soundtrack matched the mood of the movie.
Melton’s character has some stalkerish undertones when following Shahidi’s character around New York City. It may seem romantic in the context of the movie, but it’s really not. A complete stranger following someone is not romantic, it’s scary, but this movie plays it as a romantic song. He saves her from being hit by a car. Does that justify the stalking? Not really.
Eventually, he takes her back to where his Korean family owns and runs a black hair care store. Kingsley is bombarded with the belligerence and racism of Bae’s father and older brother but she brushes it off. Every now and then, there are mini lessons on Korea’s power of the wig industry in the 1960s and the concept of multiverses.
Kingsely, a Jamaican immigrant who is about to be deported the next day with her whole family, is on a mission to find someone to help them stay but Bae seems to keep getting in the way. She plays his little game of “I can make you fall in love with me by the end of the day,” when she should either be packing with her family or getting help.
The soundtrack is upbeat and the intro song, “Come” by Jain is the perfect song to vibe to. There’s also a cheesy karaoke scene where Bae sings “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James & The Shondells. In the book, he sings “Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA.
There won’t be any spoilers of the ending but let’s just say it’s a happy one.