MANILA -- Spring Films is quickly becoming a reliable purveyor of stories featuring Filipinos in scenic settings abroad. Here is another: "Sunshine Family" is set in South Korea and is about a family who find themselves entangled in a hit-and-run incident, just a few days before they were set to come home to the Philippines.
Determined to not end up in jail, they discover that picking apart a car inside their crammed home, a frantic attempt to hide the evidence of their crime, is not nearly as difficult as keeping their bonds from falling apart.
There are a number of bumps in the road in this genuinely funny comedy, the biggest one being the witnesses who are trying to extort them for money. It was a problem that was disappointingly solved with a throwaway line during its rushed conclusion (the final parts were bordering weird, telling us perhaps there was not a clear ending in mind) but the movie’s charm lies in its characters and not in its plot anyway.
A spotlight stealer is their neighbor’s Korean grandfather, used in a recurring gag that helps maintain the overall sunny mood, while Nonie and Shamaine Buencamino deliver in the funniest moment of the movie where they try, as a couple who have grown distant from one another, to have sex inside their half-disassembled car.
Underused were Sue Ramirez and Marco Masa, whose characters (the latter is a bullied, young gay kid) felt no more than one-dimensional foils for their dad.
“Sunshine Family” is nothing groundbreaking, but there are laughs, plenty of swooning images of South Korea, and a lesson to be taken about not abandoning family.