Who Loves the Sun is the story of a love triangle. Will and Daniel grew up as best friends. Daniel’s parents basically treated Will as a member of their family. Daniel was Will’s best man when Will got married to Maggie. Soon after that, though, Will walked in on Daniel and Maggie having sex. He walked out in anger, and for years no one knew where he was or what he was doing.
Five years later he returns. He contacts Daniel’s parents to ask if he can see them, and they agree. But they also notify both Daniel and Maggie of Will’s return, and they soon come to Daniel’s parents’ house as well. Everyone is embarrassed, awkward, angry, and unable or unwilling to communicate in an open and healthy way. Over time some progress is made and the characters haltingly open up and express their emotions. One thing that becomes clear is that Daniel was and is as much in love with Maggie as Will ever was.
I pictured the movie as being set in New England somewhere along the coast, but it’s actually a Canadian movie set in Canada (or at least filmed in Canada, and presumably set there).
Who Loves the Sun is mostly serious, but there are some elements here and there that make me wonder if they were occasionally going for something more whimsical, with a bit of humor. More likely it’s purely a drama, and some of the scenes are just poorly done as drama.
For example, there’s a wrestling scene between Will and Daniel that probably is supposed to show that their relationship is such that they can still revert to utter childishness in certain circumstances. But it plays like a bad slapstick scene of two actors trying very hard not to hurt each other.
I also had trouble with the character of Daniel’s father, because he looks and acts way too much like a comic character Joe Flaherty would play.
The annoying, schmaltzy flute music makes it feel like the film is trying to be very serious, so I tend to think it is indeed intended to be solely a drama.
The movie raises important ethical issues related to running away from problems, and semi-intentionally hurting someone in the process. There’s a sibling rivalry-type thing going on with Will and Daniel, but I don’t think the situation with Maggie is just a pretense for indulging in that rivalry. Pretty clearly they are both genuinely in love with her, just as she has sincere feelings for each of them, and they just don’t handle that difficult situation ideally well, which is realistic.
I found Who Loves the Sun to be mildly interesting throughout, but rarely more than that.
It’s interesting to have seen this so soon after Closer, as both movies address the theme of infidelity. I thought in terms of quality, they were both OK, nothing special. But somehow I find being middling more excusable in a modest indie film, whereas Closer is a big fancy production with huge stars based on a big deal play, and frankly has a bit of a pretentious feel to it.
Who Loves the Sun is more likable than Closer, and its characters are vastly more likable than those of Closer. I don’t know that it’s good enough, though, to recommend. I’d say it’s at best on the borderline between a thumbs up and a thumbs down.