Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Spot of Tuneful Sunshine on the Big Screen Is Just the Tonic; Need a Movie to Blow Away Autumnal Gloom? DAVID WHETSTONE Prescribes Sunshine on Leith

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Spot of Tuneful Sunshine on the Big Screen Is Just the Tonic; Need a Movie to Blow Away Autumnal Gloom? DAVID WHETSTONE Prescribes Sunshine on Leith

Article excerpt

THERE are few things nicer than going to see a show or a film you know little about and being bowled over.

This happened when I attended a preview screening of Sunshine On Leith at the Tyneside Cinema.

I should have known a lot about the film since I was due to interview director Dexter Fletcher afterwards in front of the late night audience.

This turned out to be an easy task.

For one thing, Dexter Fletcher is the nicest of men. Moreover, Sunshine On Leith is one of the loveliest of films.

True, one audience member did say it had been a bit sweet for her. But for me it touched the same nerve as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Gregory's Girl, also low budget surprise hits that made me feel better about the world.

Surprisingly, since it features squaddies, Sunshine On Leith doesn't have Four Weddings-style swearing.

It does, however, have a lot of songs - and all are by The Proclaimers, Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid. This is, in fact, a musical rather of the ilk of Mamma Mia! - although more to my taste.

It starts with young Scots Davy and Ally (played by George MacKay and Kevin Guthrie) returning to their loved ones from a tour of Afghanistan where they have seen pals killed or maimed.

It's quite a bleak start. But then, as the lads stride jauntily home through Edinburgh, the music and the dancing begin. If it sounds cheesy, the plot and songs are tried and tested. Sunshine On Leith began as a play in 2007 by Scottish playwright Stephen Greenhorn. It was an enormous hit in Dundee.

The film adaptation, with Greenhorn's screenplay, was premiered at the Toronto Film Festival where it made seasoned critics smile. It opens on Friday and will warm a lot of hearts, not least of those who invested in it.

At the Tyneside, Dexter Fletcher asked everyone leaving the cinema: "Did you enjoy the film? …

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