Walking on Sunshine  (2014)    53/100

Rating :   53/100                                                                       97 Min        12A

A musical which features various hits from the eighties, most of which are tortuously murdered by the young relatively unknown cast whose musical and acting abilities run the gamut. Oddly, said cast includes Leona Lewis in her film debut – and as the ace up the production’s sleeve not nearly enough of her is made, especially as she’s the strongest singer by quite a margin. It’s very obviously taking the majority of the leaves out of Mamma Mia’s (08) book, set as it is in an idyllic seaside location in Italy with three female friends as central characters (pictured above and played by, from left to right, Hannah Arterton {sister of Gemma Arterton}, Annabel Scholey and Katy Brand) and the context of one of their weddings as excuse for them all to be there. Scholey is the one to be wed after a five week whirlwind romance, although it turns out her husband to be (played by Giulio Berruti) used to be the lover of her sister (Arterton) who elects to keep this secret and hide the fact she is still in love with him, meanwhile Scholey’s ex (Greg Wise) is determined to win her back, but what could the outcome of all this possibly be …. ?

Most of the first two thirds is abysmal – indeed the opening rendition of Madonna’s ‘Holiday’ is probably the movie’s lowest point, but eventually it does get a little better, with maybe two or three scenes working as intended. One features Arterton singing live in a church and she does a great job – which makes you wonder why they didn’t do more of the same thing, à la ‘Les Mis‘, instead of dubbing the rest of it. Some of the other songs used include ‘Eternal Flame’, ‘Faith’, ‘The Power of Love’ (Huey Lewis and the News), ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ and of course ‘Walking on Sunshine’.

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