Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on July 2009
Rose is a disillusioned, single-mother, 30-something ex-cheerleader now cleaning houses. Her laidback sister Norah is not really interested in looking for work. (The casting of Amy Adams and Emily Blunt in these roles amounts to pure genius, and is the main reason to see the film.) Their dad is Alan Arkin, elaborating on his Little Miss Sunshine persona, which, while perhaps lacking inspiration, is still fun to watch. When Rose finds herself in a financial bind, her old boyfriend and current paramour Steve Zahn turns her on to the lucrative if off-putting practice of cleaning up bloody crime scenes, and she enlists her sister to start the title business. This movie is offbeat and amusing, particularly in the beginning, but it’s hardly a laff riot, and addresses some serious issues, principally the suicide of their mother. It’s uneven in tone and a bit clumsy in its genre-switching, and the ending’s kind of sloppy, but this morality tale by director Christine Jeffs (Sylvia) from a script by Megan Holly is well acted all around and ultimately quite uplifting, avoiding the artificiality you might expect from such a premise.