Review: Sunshine On Leith - this one’s from the heart

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You don’t often go to the cinema and see row upon row of feet tapping in unison to the soundtrack.

There again, you don ‘t get many films with such a joyful, infectious soundtrack as ‘Sunshine On Leith’ - a soundtrack you already know off by heart even before entering the cinema.

And it is a gloriously warm, uplifting, life-affirming, feel good movie; the sort that sends you out into the dark autumn night feeling ten times better than when you went in.

Perhaps more importantly, it might just give the Reid brothers, Craig and Charlie, the credit they deserve as songwriters.

They write about love in all its forms - love found, love lost, love screwed up, love reclaimed and re-ignited - and do so with honesty, tenderness and in their own, native tongue.

Director Dexter Fletcher has taken the narrative from their finest songs and created a film that may be one of the many boy-meets-girl-gets-it-wrong-does-his-best-to-sort-it-out-before-they-all-live-happily-ever-after of the genre, but he still makes it all rather special and a little bit magical.

‘Sunshine On Leith’ tells the story of one family and three couples and landmarks in their lives.

Returning soldiers returning from Afghanistan, best mates - one reunited with his girlfriend, one set up with her best pal.

And then there are the parents, superbly played by peter Mullen and Jane Horrocks, poised to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary only to be stung by an indiscretion from the past.

From the start you know it’s going to come together in time-honoured tradition, but it matters not a jot as you get wrapped up in a touching story told against a joyful, utterly jubilant soundtrack - witness the wedding proposal acted out in a pub filled with Hibs’ fans and memorabilia, or the friends reuniting with ‘This Is The Story’ teasing parts of their own life stories or the celebratory scenes to ‘Oh Jean’ which bring everyone together and also push them to the point of break-up.

As for the ending, well you’ll leave the cinema singing and possibly even dancing.

‘Sunshine On Leith’ is a wonderful movie which draws a giant green and white heart around its characters and the city of Edinburgh, but it is a love story hewn from the musical coalface of Fife - from Auchtermuchty with love courtesy of two of the most down to earth, modest musicians you could ever meet.