Jamaican-born teenager Natasha Kingsley is about to be deported alongside with her family, but on her last day on New York she makes a desperate last ditch effort to remain in the U.S.; it's then when fate intervenes and she meets Daniel Bae, a young student and the son of Korean immigrants. They quickly connect and a relationship blossoms, but will they be able to keep it afloat in spite of the impending deportation of Natasha and her family?
The Sun is Also a Star provides examples of:
- Big Apple Sauce: The entire film takes place in New York city.
- Big Brother Bully: Daniel's brother, Charles, he constantly teases him and mocks him for falling in love with a black girl. Subverted Trope, later when Natasha arrives to Daniel's parents' shop looking for him, and Charles gives her his phone number. And warns her not to break his heart.
- Black and Nerdy: Natasha, who studies quantum physics and loves science in general.
- Cessation of Existence: When talking to Daniel, Natasha indicates that she thinks death is the end.
- Culture Clash: Daniel's father is unhappy with how his sons are more individualistic than traditional Korean culture advocates. This is illustrated by the fact that the Korean family names come first, then the individual one.
- Don't Think, Feel: Daniel thinks Natasha is too insistent upon having scientific evidence for things, and should just go with her feelings. She eventually follows this somewhat.
- Education Mama: Daniel's parents are revealed to be this, putting him under a lot of pressure to get into medical school, and never asking him about what he really wants.
- Hope Spot: At the end of the day Natasha has managed to build a case to avoid her family's deportation and has submitted the papers to an immigration lawyer, but the next day it turned out that the judge rejected her case and she still has to leave the U.S.
- Love at First Sight: Daniel becomes smitten with Natasha when he spots her in the crowd from above in Central Station.
- Maybe Ever After: Natasha returns to the U.S. several years later as a PhD student and reconnects with Daniel.
- Measuring the Marigolds: Discussed when Natasha tells Daniel if something isn't scientifically shown it can't be a fact, and thus she doesn't believe in things like fate. She admits this is something that turns lots of people off (him included) since they feel it saps life of meaning, but to her that isn't the case.
- No Antagonist: The film has no villain whatsoever, only the circumstances which bring Natasha and Daniel together and how those now threaten to separate them.
- Opposites Attract: Daniel and Natasha have this in many ways. He is more likely to go with his feelings, and also believes in things like fate. She is more intellectual, disbelieving in that because there isn't scientific evidence of it. Even so, she's charmed by him and his bet that he can make her fall for him within an hour actually works.
- Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: This roughly describes Daniel and Natasha's views. He believes in fate and just going with your feelings. She believes you should analyze things and go by what science shows to be true. Despite this, they both find each other attractive, and seem to learn from each other.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Daniel and Natasha try to keep their fledgling romance alive in the face of Natasha's deportation, but in the end she has to leave the U.S.. They try to maintain contact though but they find it too hard. Eventually Natasha comes back to the U.S. several years later as a PhD student and reconnects with Daniel.
- Title Drop: Natasha says "The sun's also a star" when discussing with Daniel the usage of stars versus the sun in poetry (she really enjoys astronomy).