Drama,  Romance

Ill-suited Cast Of The Sun Is Also A Star Is One Of The Film’s Greatest Mistakes

The Sun Is Also a Star

Director: Ry Russo-Young

Date Created: 2019-05-17 00:00

Editor's Rating:

I wasn’t expecting much out of this movie but it still somehow managed to under-cede my expectations. The movie would have been better if the Cast Of The Sun Is Also A Star was more thoughtfully chosen.


cast of the sun is also a star
Cast of The Sun is Also a Star movie poster
Based on the popular novel by the same name, Jamaican Natasha and Korean Daniel fall for each other through a chance encounter. However, Natasha doesn't have long to prevent her and her family from being deported back to Jamaica, threatening the future of her newfound romance.

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The Cast of The Sun Is Also A Star

Yara Shahidi

First off, Yara Shahidi – you know what? Let’s start off with the positives: beautiful, intelligent girl and them curls- PAWPING. God bless the hands that shingled each one of those curls to perfection. But honey, we need to address the acting.

Yara Shahidi does not fully embody Natasha’s character and a big reason why is because SHE’S NOT JAMAICAN AT ALL.

Who actually cast this movie? Am I, a full-grown adult with two eyeballs that function satisfactorily (with the help of some lens assistance), supposed to really believe that light-skinned, loose-curled Natasha came directly from a family that is completely dark-skinned with tightly coiled hair? Was I supposed to believe that?

The casting choices within The Sun is Also a Star favored marketability over authenticity.

The colorism is so palpable.

I would have loved to see an actress who is actually Jamaican because I can assure you that there are plenty of exceptional candidates who could have executed this role superbly and look just as gorgeous doing it too.

Also, someone with a slight Jamaican accent since Natasha did spend a good bit of her childhood in Jamaica and was raised in a Jamaican household. Because she does spend the other half of her life in New York, this Jamaican accent can be medlied with a New York accent as well.

Instead, Natasha, who has spent all of her life living in very aromatic cultures, presents as bland and originless.

Charles Melton

And then Charles Melton – first of all – I can’t get over how much this man looks like handsome Squidward.

Now that we have that out of the way, Charles Melton plays the Korean male love interest in this film named Daniel.

Melton is half Korean playing a full Korean character. Like — why? What’s wrong with casting a fully Korean-American character and a fully Jamaican-American character? Or at least people who can convincingly look fully Korean and Jamaican.

Why isn’t being 100% Jamaican and 100% Korean good enough?

Why does the media continually perpetuate this idea that racial differences are only okay if they’re watered down with European features?

Rather than a heartwarming medley of two cultures, The Sun is Also a Star presents as a superficial Calvin Klein ad.

The characters just did not feel as real or authentic as they had the potential to be.

Culture Clash in The Sun Is Also A Star

Speaking of cultural mixing, we need to discuss the Black Hair Care shop scene.

When Daniel’s Korean dad offered Natasha a perm for her big hair, I was like skiiirtttt!! Hold up!

You want to perm HER beautiful, delicate, luscious curls?? Perm was not made for hair that looks that well-defined.

For black people, getting a perm means putting chemicals into your hair to relax the texture and make the hair straight.

This process is often done because black hair as it is, and the kinkier and more wildly curled it is, is often not considered beautiful in many cultures.

Shahidi, playing Natasha in this movie, obviously wasn’t offended by Daniel’s father’s unsolicited comment because she already has “good hair.”

This “good hair” has looser, more defined curls. It hangs to the sides of the face rather than rises to the sun.

But tell a girl with 4C hair to get a perm. That’s a different story. They would have had to add a whole other scene where she cried in the mirror at a disastrous twist-out that took her 12 hours, yet left her looking like a clown.

In real life, I can’t imagine anyone suggesting that Yara Shahidi’s hair needs a perm. A perm would probably be too harsh for her hair. If anything, she may be recommended to straighten her hair and that would be sufficient.

That’s why I feel that having a black girl that actually fit the description that the story demanded would have created a bigger, more realistic impact.

Casting Shahidi robbed this story of a moment that a lot of tightly coiled-haired individuals, like me, could relate to.

Learning to manage your hair and feel beautiful among a beauty standard that doesn’t favor your natural features is a common journey for nearly every black woman.

But instead of presenting a relatable moment for viewers, The Sun is Also a Star chose someone with an exotic look. By casting someone with a face and features that society already favors, we cannot relate.

This major casting error in authenticity makes this cultural clash between Black and Asian cultures feel incredibly artificial.

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The Cringe in The Sun Is Also A Star

I have never seen a film with this much exposure, not be able to line up the mouthing of words to the audio of the words being spoken when changing camera angles.

This is particularly evident in the scene where Natasha and Daniel are at a skate park.

The disconnect really takes you out of the moment.

I was really trying hard to give this movie the benefit of the doubt despite the cringe-iness of the acting and casting and all, but then basic technical aspects within editing were also done in a subpar fashion.


  • Natasha’s reaction to getting no help from her first immigration appointment
  • Natasha and Daniel’s conversation at the skatepark
  • Natasha and Daniels’s conversation at the cafe
  • The whole family conversation at the black hair care shop
  • The karaoke scene where Daniel was obviously lip-synching in a way that made me incredibly uncomfortable
  • Natasha’s obviously fake baby bump in the Karaoke dream scene
  • Natasha bringing Daniel home to her family after ghosting them for a whole day
  • Natasha and Daniel deciding that the busy airport was the best place to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes.

There were quite a few narrative choices in Natasha and Daniel’s romance that were hard to believe and understand.

Seriously though, if I had brought a boy home after spending a whole night out of my house in the streets of New York City, especially with immigrant parents, my parents would have killed the boy to watch me suffer first and then killed me.

Natasha literally brought Daniel into a lion’s den with all the audacity in the world and the parents barely blinked an eye.

Also, how is Daniel going to be a whole poet but didn’t give us one full poem in the WHOLE movie? How sway?

And ultimately, the chemistry between Natasha and Daniel – the progression of their relationship – the depth of their conversations — all of it comes off as unnatural and inorganic.

Yes, the casting plays a big part in that but the script did not help at all.

Positives of The Sun Is Also A Star

Even though the characters in the movie were poor representations of New York culture, the film’s music was not.

The Sun Is Also A Star‘s soundtrack had some enjoyable songs and I felt like the eclectic genre selection of the music represented New York and the setting more than the story and the characters.

Despite a lackluster script and poor casting choices, the film did have a heartwarming moment or two near the end where the emotion intended from the book version of this movie shone through.

Memorable Quotes:

“Carl Sagan once said that human beings are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it’s forever.”

“People always look straight ahead but they never look up.”

In Conclusion…

The Sun Is Also a Star has all of the potential to be a truly heartwarming, authentic, and relatable movie but ultimately fell short in its casting choices.

Along with poor casting, the script, editing, and infusion of cultural understanding of this film were grossly neglected producing an unbelievable story.

The movie seemed to completely rely on the success of the book’s popularity and popular actor names to compensate for its technical and artistic insufficiencies.

Rating: 3/10

What are your thoughts on The Sun is Also a Star? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,



  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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