Directed by Kevin Resnick
Starring Kevin Resnick, Sarah Navratil, Robb Hutter, Dariana Alvarez, Maritza Brikisak, Robert Greene, and Nicholas Thurkettle
Indie Film Review by Chris Olson
"I've gotta see a man about a horse."
Just one of the euphemisms used by Lilly (Dariana Alvarez), daughter of main character Ben (Kevin Resnick), to denote her need to visit the bathroom in indie film Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine. The reason why it appears at the beginning of this film review is that it is the perfect combination of dry humour and delicate human sensibilities to fittingly reflect this excellent comedy from director Resnick.
Following the romantic endeavours of hapless but likeable Ben, this is a romantic comedy in the classic sense of the word. Our hero is a shy, single father who is awkward when it comes to matters of romance, but witty and droll when it comes to bantering with his awful boss (Robert Greene) about his awful job. Having stared at a woman called Sunshine (Sarah Navratil) he fancies for six months, he finds himself thrust into a traditional rom-com plot when he comes home to find her, uninvited, in his kitchen, cooking dinner for him, his daughter, and his live-in, uncouth father (Robb Hutter). Okay so it's not actually much of a classic story, but that is very much to its credit!
There are so many comedy beats strewn across Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine, that you could be forgiven for doing a little jig to all of them. This is a genuinely feel-good film that is also acutely funny. The jokes are more risqué than you might expect, and the humour borders on inappropriate at times, that this felt like the beautiful heyday of romantic comedy filmmaking, like a modern When Harry Met Sally. It also has more than a few televisual connotations, with witty banter being thrown around like an episode of The Office.
Watch the official movie trailer for Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine above.
Cinematically, Resnick offers up an enjoyable array of warm and fuzzy scenes that let the comedy lines breathe life into them. There is nothing hugely daring, no huge set pieces of physical comedy. Instead, audiences are treated to character driven moments of tender, funny, and at times moving, sequences that are developed into an affecting tale of life, love and loss. As a genre piece, it was pitch perfect. Even the indie soundtrack was cleverly done, an element which made the film feel more modern when it could have lapsed into dated comedy territory.
There does exist a little padding which made the film feel a little baggy, with plot threads being introduced for no real cause. Such as a little too much focus on the exploits of Ben's father, who enjoys a variety of flirtatious conquests throughout the story. It did offer some nice moments of levity though, especially when he has a run in with a neighbour and a call girl. Also, even though there were these deviations, it did not really affect the pace. Everything felt tightly controlled which is essential in a comedy movie.
Done with a penchant for comic timing and well developed characters, Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine is all the things you love about romantic comedies.