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Sunshine Cleaning

Amy Adams and Emily Blunt shine as crime-scene cleaner-uppers

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"From the producers of Little Miss Sunshine," the ad trumpets -- and it's a fair association. Christine Jeff's comedy is indeed similar: It's a wholly palatable indie-lite hybrid of quirky and heartwarming, set in the Southwest, with an offbeat plot, a pair of wonderfully engaging female leads and Alan Arkin as a cranky, kooky granddad. A struggling single mom (Amy Adams) and her tart-tongued slacker sister (Emily Blunt) start a specialized cleaning service, mopping up after crime scenes and suicides. Like the beauty contest in Little, this oddball occupation is mostly a narrative gimmick to spur the characters to take stock of their moribund lives and get moving forward. There are more smiles than guffaws in this outing, and given the emphasis on cleaning up after the dead, more than a few bittersweet or melancholic moments. The last reel strains credulity a bit, but Adams and Blunt keep Cleaning grounded with winning low-key performances. AMC Loews, Manor

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