Sunshine State

Watch Sunshine State

"Greetings from Sunshine State."
  • PG-13
  • 2002
  • 2 hr 21 min
  • 6.8  (4,222)
  • 69

Sunshine State is a 2002 drama film directed by John Sayles, starring Angela Bassett, Edie Falco, and Alex Lewis. The film takes place in a small town in Florida called Delrona Beach, which is located on a stretch of land that developers are eyeing for their next resort. The movie explores the lives of a diverse group of characters who find themselves caught up in the struggle between progress and tradition, showcasing the complex interplay between capitalism and the environment on a local level.

At the heart of the film is Marly Temple, played by Falco, who runs a rundown motel that is a window into the past of Delrona Beach. A former beauty queen, Marly's motel is one of the few businesses that have not yet been swallowed up by the developers. Marly's daughter, Terri, played by Lewis, is a rebellious teenager who is struggling with her own identity and the weight of her mother's expectations.

Meanwhile, Bassett's character Desiree Perry is a successful businesswoman who returns to her hometown to claim her inheritance, which includes the land that developers are eager to get their hands on. She is caught between her desire to make a profit and her loyalty to her community, which is facing the threat of being destroyed by the development.

Sayles weaves these characters and their stories together in a skillful way, showing how the looming specter of corporate interests affects everything and everyone in the community. The film touches on a variety of themes such as race, class, gender, and identity, exploring the ways in which different people navigate the complex web of societal expectations and cultural norms that shape their lives.

One of the most striking things about Sunshine State is the way in which Sayles portrays the environment as a character in and of itself. The camera lingers on the natural beauty of the Florida landscape, juxtaposing it with the looming threat of the resorts and high-rise condos that are poised to destroy it. At times, the film feels like a meditation on the fragility of the natural world and the ways in which capitalism can erase the past and the present in its drive for profit.

The performances in Sunshine State are uniformly excellent, with Falco and Bassett standing out in particular. Falco imbues Marly with a lived-in weariness that is both poignant and relatable, while Bassett brings a fierce intelligence and determination to Desiree that makes her character one of the film's most compelling.

Overall, Sunshine State is a thoughtful and affecting drama that explores the complexities of the human experience in the face of shifting cultural and environmental landscapes. Its message about the importance of preserving the past while forging ahead towards a better future is one that is especially resonant in today's world, making the film as relevant now as it was when it was first released nearly 20 years ago.

Sunshine State is a 2002 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 21 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 69.

Sunshine State
Where to Watch Sunshine State
Sunshine State is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Sunshine State for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 21 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (4,222)
  • Metascore