Movie Review: The Sunlit Night – Available today on VOD


Available today on VOD (Video on Demand) is the romantic comedy, The Sunlit Night. The film is based on the novel by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight.

The film stars Jenny Slate, Fridjov Såheim, David Paymer, Alex Sharp, Zach Galifianakis and Gillian Anderson.

Frances (Slate) is an aspiring artist. Sadly, her artwork fails to appeal critics. She knows that she needs to take a fresh new look at her artwork and expand her horizons.

Frances is given the opportunity to work as an apprentice with another artist who used to be popular, but has since lost his appeal in the art world. The apprenticeship is in Norway, which is far from the tiny, cramped apartment she shares with her engaged sister and divorcing parents.

Upon arrival in Norway, Frances learns that the artist she is going to work with, Nils, is not exactly the friendly type.

Nils takes Frances to a tiny, remote village where he sets her up in a tiny, cramped trailer on his property (she’s used to living in tiny spaces).

Excited to see what project she will be assisting Nils with, she is dismayed to learn that he needs her to help him paint a barn. It’s an old barn near a Viking village. Nils wants the barn to make it onto a tourist destination map.

Getting used to living in Norway is not that easy for Frances. She cannot tolerate the 24/7 sunlight. She also has a hard time chiseling away at Nil’s frigid demeanor.

During her time in Norway, Frances meets the Viking Chief at a near-by village, who is actually a man from Ohio (Galifianakis). She also meets a young man who is also from the United States who has come to Norway to give his Russian father a Viking funeral.

The eclectic crew ranges from “home” to “lost,” within the extreme and dazzling landscape of the Far North. Under a sun that never quite sets, and the high standards of an unforgiving mentor, Frances must navigate between ambition, desire, obligation, and risk in order to find a way forward.

Look for The Sunlit Night on Video on Demand (VOD).

I was able to screen the movie for free in order to do this review.

Frances (Slate) is a very likable character. You feel sorry for her situation and you want to cheer her on as she tries to reinvent herself.

I LOVED seeing all the landscape shots of the film, which I can only assume were shot in Norway. My family (great-grandmother) is from Oslo, Norway. I have a lot of “long lost” relatives in Norway that I have never met (but some day wish I can). Traveling to Norway is on my “Bucket List,” so I appreciated seeing all the beautiful shots from there in the film.

I liked the story line, but I got a bit lost when it came to the relationship between Frances and Yasha (Sharp). I don’t think that it was really defined in this film. I would have liked to have seen it more developed. There was more of a relationship between Frances and Nils than there was between Frances and Yasha.

There is nudity and sex in this film. I must say that I am NOT a “prude.” I’m OK with nudity if it’s essential to a story line. However, there are times I just don’t think it’s needed, like seeing Frances model in full frontal nudity on several occasions (they could have shot her from the back and viewers would have seen that she was naked).

Seeing Frances’ and Yasha’s naked bodies after they have sex was also not necessary. The film could have been shot in a way that you didn’t have to see their bodies. I know that makes me sound prudish, but honestly, I’m not.

I liked the character of Nils. He was gruff and standoffish, but I liked how he eventually warmed up to Frances.

Overall I liked the film. I’m not sure if it would be considered a “chick flick” or not. I know my husband probably wouldn’t have wanted to watch this (I watched it on my own).

I couldn’t find any social media pages for the film, but I am including the trailer (below) for your enjoyment.



*I received a free screener link in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.