Beyond the Trailer: Walking on Sunshine (2014)

Power Plant Cinema Ticket:
Walking on Sunshine
I got a complimentary ticket from my mom that allows me to watch any film at the Power Plant Cinema. I was excited because it would be my first time watching a film there.

Being a fan of the musical genre, I decided to give this movie a shot. Reviews compared it to 'Mama Mia' and 'Pitch Perfect' and I had enjoyed those two movies a lot too. It promises some of then best songs from the 80's and the cast also included Leona Lewis whom I've always admired for her voice. I wasn't sure what she would like be as an actress, but I was interested.

I'm sure people would first be curious about what the movie is about.

Movie Poster
The story begins with Taylor who had went on a holiday in Puglia, Italy with her friend, Elena before she starts university. There, she falls in love with a local named, Raf. Unfortunately, their romance ended when Taylor returned to finish her university schooling.

Three years later, her sister surprises her by inviting her to Italy. There, she announced her intentions of getting married. Taylor was very much against the idea of marrying someone she had only known for five weeks, but the surprises didn't end there. Her sister's fiancé was none other than the love of her life, Raf.



I admit, I felt that the story was already sounding a little bit cliché but I tried not to let it bother me. I have seem movies I liked despite it being cliché. I wasn't ready to dismiss it yet.

Setting the Mood

Elena (Leona Lewis) and Taylor (Hannah Arterton)

One thing that I can really say is undeniable is that setting of the film is beautiful. The movie opened with a scene of Maddie and Raf by the shoreline where he was begging her to stay ending with a heartfelt confession of love.

The scenes that follow are probably my favorite part of the movie because the shots were really taken so prettily.
Raf (Giulio Berruti) and Taylor (Hannah Arterton)

What followed were scenes of Taylor and Elena with their respective love interests (and friend, Mikey). What I enjoyed about the opening is that there were several pretty blog-worthy shots that are really very cute.

If they were looking for sun and romance, Puglia, Italy was certainly not a bad choice. Beautiful beaches, clear water and rich history. It does give off the vibe of "Tourist Paradise."

Songs

Taylor singing and dancing "Holiday" at the airport.
There are a lot of songs in this movie. Obviously, because it is a musical. I'll just write about the ones that stood out to me the most.

The first musical number was the song, Holiday by Madonna, which Taylor sang at the airport as she danced with random pilots, businessmen and school children.

While her voice might not be my type, I do like that she managed to make the number cute and fun to watch. I had fun watching her and she even made me smile at certain parts. This scene is very colorful and energetic which is really a contrast to the soft filtered scene of the opening.

Maddie (Annabel Scholey) in the musical number, Venus.
 The next number was "Venus" originally sang by the Bananarama. This was a song to answer Maddie's question about why her mysterious, groom wanted to marry her.

 I will admit this now, this was not my favorite number. Maybe I found it a bit too overdone. I suppose it was intentional for comedic purposes though. If comedy was the aim, I suppose it played its purpose but it doesn't change that it is my least favorite number in the whole movie. It isn't a bad number, just not my type.

Taylor with the singing sunbathers singing,
"How Will I Know"
The next scene, Taylor decided to go to the beach and see if she could find her old friends. She found them with no trouble and just in time to see Raf walk up from the ocean. Then began one of my top 3 favorite musical numbers in the movie, How Will I Know by Whitney Houston.

It isn't my favorite because of the shirtless, Raf. It might help a little because there is no denying that he is definitely eye-candy.

It is mostly because this was one of my favorite songs by Whitney Houston. While Hannah isn't the powerhouse Whitney Houston was, the number was still endearing and funny. What is not to love watching a lovestruck girl singing with bunch of sunbathers.

Maddie singing 'The Power of Love.'
After finding out that her sister was going to marry the love of her life, Maddie hosts an engagement party with Taylor and their friends in attendance. The atmosphere was really awkward to the people who knew about Raf and Taylor. Maddie didn't have a clue.

The song they performed next was  "Huey Lewis and the News's The Power of Love". While I didn't like Maddie's performance in Venus, I enjoyed her performance here. She still acts over the top --- after all, it is part of her character but not too much.
From L-R: Enrico (Giulio Corso), Elena (Leona Lewis),
Lil (Katy Brand)and Mikey (Danny Kirrane)

Since it is the whole title of the song, I feel obligated to talk about this next song, "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. I also want to talk about it because Leona Lewis shows a bit more of her gorgeous voice. The movie is enjoyable, but the lack of Leona Lewis solos and lines is a little disappointing.

I still like this number though. The song is sang during their little adventure at a Tomato Festival. The festival looked fun. Maybe a little scary, but it is like having a water fight only with tomatoes.
Taylor singing "If I Could Turn Back Time" on the roof

Out of the two duets that featured Raf and Taylor, "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher was definitely my favorite. I think that this song suited Raf's voice more. While Raf is definitely good-looking and near perfect, he isn't the best singer.

It is sappy, but I liked this part of the movie. I like that we get to see some of the architecture. I am not sure if the buildings are real or this was shot in a studio, but I thought it was really pretty.
The main cast singing "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go."

Lastly to close the movie, they sang "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! on the beach. The song is also a lot of fun to listen and its this lighthearted summer tune was the perfect song to end the movie with.

Characters

Taylor Jones

For characters, I suppose it is only natural to start with Taylor played by Hannah Arterton. I like her and her voice. It was definitely a voice for musicals.

Her character is the responsible one of the two sisters. I admit, that she is actually the character I could relate to the most because I know how it feels to have a sister that has made a lot of relationship mistakes.

Also, I do think she made the more sensible choice of finishing her education. If she had stayed, she probably would have regretted it. In the end, having things happen the way it did worked out better. There was little room for mistakes now since she finished what she had went to university for.
Madison "Maddie" Jones

While I might not be able to relate to Maddie played by Annabel Scholey, I definitely like her. She has a passion for things that makes it very difficult to ignore her. She is the type of character that you could either like or dislike immediately since she wears her emotions in plain sight.

I personally like Maddie and I am glad that she finally made an actual good decision in the end without others telling her it was a mistake. I hope she finds happiness without necessarily finding it in love.
Raf

Raf, played by Giulio Berruti is gorgeous. He looks like one of those heroes out of chick-lit novel. From the dark hair and deep blue eyes to the tall, chiseled built. Girls are gonna find themselves fanning themselves every time he appears. It doesn't help that he is the Taylor Lautner of the movie. If I took a shot every time he takes his shirt off, I'd probably be dosing half-way through the movie.

He can't really sing, but he plays the role of a romantic very well. It is so easy to see why both sisters fell in love with him. If a guy like this asks you to marry him, I'd marry him before he changes his mind too.
Lil

I actually like Lil. She is played by Katy Brand. Like Maddie, she is quirky and confident. She is a writer --- but she isn't just any writer. She writes Erotic fiction. One of quirks is being able to find 50 different ways to say orgasm. She is a supportive and obviously loves her friends a lot. While she doesn't always know what to say to comfort her friends, she gives her best and manages to do just that anyway.

Elena and Enrico
Elena is of course played by Leona Lewis and Enrico was played by Giulio Corso. In this movie, we can't think of one without the other.

I find the two of them very sweet. I see angels every time Elena sings and while Enrico has habits of a typical man like not listening, but he does seem very much in love with Elena and he is very lucky to have her. Who wouldn't want to marry Leona Lewis?

I think people can tell by the lack of Doug in this article that I am not very fond of him. The character is played by Greg Wise. As a child, I remember watching Peter Pan and had a very big crush on the boy that never grew up. However, in real life if Peter Pan was real he'd look somewhat like Doug and I don't like it.

Doug
He is a child and while I don't really think he is a bad person, he is like a very tall child and he thinks about nothing but himself. I see nothing wrong with keeping a piece of a child in you inside you. I still watch cartoons and keep stuffed animals. But everything about Doug screamed, child. I have to admit though that he probably sings much better than Raf can, but it doesn't mean I will like him more than that.

Mikey
Last but not least, Mikey played by Danny Kirrane. He is definitely a pretty quirky guy. He doesn't get a lot of screen time sadly, but he is quite funny. It seems he serves as the movie's comic relief.

He is close friends with Enrico and Raf. He does have some flaws on the bestfriend department, like taping Raf to a tree with a goat --- he still tries to be supportive even though he is not very good at it.

Over-all

I don't think this film will be winning any Oscars or Academy awards, but it is still a fun film to watch. It is cliché and has the Happily-Ever-After ending, but I don't think of it as a bad thing. 

It's a film I would probably watch with friends for a laugh and enjoyable for parents to reminisce about the 80's hits. If you're a fan of the 80's, this isn't one to miss because here you'll find songs from Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran and many more.    

If you aren't sure, check the trailer for yourself. 



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