Wednesday, May 18, 2022

EUR Movie Review:  ‘The Sun is Also a Star’

the sun is also a star - yara & daniel1

*Last week I went unaccompanied to a screening of “The Sun is Also a Star.”  Not having anyone go with me usually doesn’t usually bode very well, because it is not unusual for me to doze off during any lull in a film.

Not only did I not doze off, I was alert and engaged from start to finish.  For some reason “The Sun is Also a Star” held my attention and it wasn’t because of the great chemistry between the two stars, there was none, or the compelling and believable storyline…it was neither compelling or 100% believable.

I enjoyed the film because of the scenery, the directing and because it was interesting enough to be enjoyable.

“The Sun is Also a Star” directed by Ry Russo-Young and based on the bestselling Young Adult novel by Nicola Yoon, stars Black-ish/Grown-ish’s Yara Shahidi and Riverdale’s Charles Melton as two teenagers who fall in love in one day, something Melton’s character Daniel Bae proclaimed would happen.  While Daniel Bae, a Korean, was a romantic aspiring poet, Shahidi’s character Natasha Kingston, a Jamaican immigrant, was a pragmatic future scientist, who didn’t believe in anything that could not be proven and proclaimed, love is, “legit dead ass not real.”  Daniel set out on a quest to prove love exists, which in and of itself is not unusual, but to prove it in one day, well that is the unbelievable part.


Daniel and Natasha go all over New York (Grand Central Station, Harlem, Koreatown, Greenwich Village, Queens and Manhattan) in a single day and on the eve of Natasha’s family being deported back to Jamaica, which although not very believable, showed New York in a very good light and will probably make some people want to visit.

Although Shahidi and Melton obviously had the lion’s share of the acting in “The Sun is Also a Star,” John Leguizamo, a very good actor, played an immigration attorney, a role that should have been developed more, because that portion of the story was relevant.  The film also included Jake Choi, who played Daniel’s older “definitely not the favorite child” brother, who you could either hate or feel sorry for, as well as Keong Sim (Daniel’s father), Gbenge Akinnagbe (Natasha’s father) and Miriam Hyman (Natasha’s mother), all who played their parts admirably, even if you didn’t care of one or two of them.

the sun is also a star - yara & danielMelton, at 28, is pushing the bounds of playing a teenager, while Shahidi actually is a teenager.  Although the mismatch in age was slightly noticeable, that aspect of the film was still believable, if only barely.

“The Sun is Also a Star” comes out in theaters on May 17, 2019.  If you want to see a cute film that doesn’t have a ton of substance, but tells a nice story and highlights New York in all its glory, this may be one to check out.

marilyn smith
Marilyn Smith

Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles based writer/reviewer.  Contact her via [email protected]





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