Sweet Sunshine Image

Sweet Sunshine

By Alan Ng | February 28, 2020

They say adversity is the greatest inspiration in art. This explains why in Craig McMahon’s Sweet Sunshine, the lead character TJ (John Way), is the most prolific songwriter in the history of music. At a young age, TJ was born to blue-collar work in a small town in Middle America. But TJ wasn’t meant for menial labor.

TJ has dreams for bigger things and a better life, but standing in his way is his father, Hank (Rob Edwards), who wants him to learn to be a real “man.” The only one who believes in TJ is his sister, Dakota (Mackenzie Coffman). She gives TJ her “moving-out” money, and the two produce his songs at a local recording studio.

“But that doesn’t matter, as TJ quickly becomes the hottest singer in the world.”

But before you know it, Dakota is killed in a fiery car crash, because TJ needed to finish a song and Dakota only had a driver’s permit at the time. Of course, Hank blames TJ for her death and immediately has a heart attack. TJ feels guilty and takes a working job to support his father.

Meanwhile, at the studio, TJ’s tapes are discovered by British manager, Kat (Julie Van Lith). She talks him into completing a full album, which angers Hank. “You’re a dreamer,” he exclaims and then kicks TJ out of his life. But that doesn’t matter, as TJ quickly becomes the hottest singer in the world.

TJ soon succumbs to all of the trappings of fame…sort of. He begins dating a selfish blond, buys a huge house. Deep down, he’s still the nice, pre-famous, humble man, we knew from the start. And as if things couldn’t get worse, they get worse. He starts coughing up blood. He has a tumor in his larynx and can no longer sing.

Sweet Sunshine (2020)

Directed and Written: Craig McMahon

Starring: John Way, Savanah D. McMahon, Mackenzie Coffman, Savannah Wix, Rob Edwards, Julie Van Lith, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

Sweet Sunshine Image

"…as if things couldn’t get worse, they get worse."

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  1. Donna Zampino says:

    I felt Sweet Sunshine is a beautiful and not so tragic love story. The music is great; each song was well written and unique. The acting is great as well. I loved the vocals of both John Way and savannah McMahon. I’ve watched many “nice” movies that drag on with mediocre melodies and predictable plots. This is not the case in this film. The movie moved fast and held my interest without containing foul language, explicit sexual scenes, and graphic violence which is a rare jewel these days. I feel many will truly enjoy the movie!

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