You Are My Sunshine *
Starring: Charles O'Neill, Ernest Vernon, Steve Salt, Jack Knight, Marjorie Manjunath
Director: David Hastings
When Tom (Salt) and Joe (Knight) meet in the 1970s, the tentative development of their relationship from friendship to something deeper is something they must keep hidden from their friends and family. In the present day, as older men (O’Neill & Vernon) they live openly together but must still deal with the derision of Joe’s sister (Manjunath) decades on. The couple dote on each other, but will their final days together be as joyful as the first?
A film with honourable intentions, it tells a very sweet lifelong love story that has dialled the sentimentality up to eleven. With some of the most saccharine lines you’re likely to come across, it feels like the screenwriter created a software to churn out randomised declarations of love and let it populate the script. The characters clearly feel very deeply for each other – very deeply indeed – but after a while, their earnest intensity is a bit much, even for die-hard romantics.
The film is also bogged down by two sets of actors who don’t physically resemble each other, or make any attempt to reflect each other’s mannerisms. In fact, the two different timelines feel like they were made independently from each other, without any consultation or attempt to make these ageing characters feel cohesive. The result feels completely disconnected.
Though it’s certainly nice to see a love story between older men on screen, it’s such a trudge to get through. Irritatingly generic music underscores a bland story captured without any imagination whatsoever.
UK Release: 16th July 2022 on VOD and DVD, released by TLA Releasing