Sunday, August 06, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Little Miss Sunshine

I really hate going to see a movie where I've seen the trailer at least a thousand times and it becomes ingrained into your subconscious. This is the beauty of Indie films, sometimes you'll come across a gem that you never knew existed, you may have to look for it a little bit, but that probably means it’s a lot better than some of the commercial garbage that's out there. This was one of those movies; I had no expectation going in cause I never saw a trailer. I heard that Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear were in the movie and that was about it. Something about beauty pageants for ten year olds. It was heartbreakingly funny.

The film follows a dysfunctional family on a road trip to California to enter the very cute, Olive (Abigail Breslin) in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. The trip reminded me of a darker version of Chevy Chase's National Lampoons Vacation. You have the Dad, Richard (Greg Kinnear) who is a failed promotional speaker who can't seem to understand that no one cares about his 9 step Program to Success. There is Uncle Frank, (Steve Carell) a suicidal Proust Scholar, who has to be on death watch the entire movie and the one person who has to make sure that Frank doesn't slit his wrists again is the God is Dead, Nietzche loving elder son Dwayne (Paul Dano). On top of that the kid has taken a vow of silence which really make the scenes with Frank that much more hilarious. You have Mom, Sheryl (Toni Collette), who tries to balance out all of the craziness and keep everyone together, she has a bit of a thankless job but she is really good here. My personal favorite is Grandpa, (Alan Arkin) who is a bit of a hedonist, he snorts heroin and he's a notorious potty mouth, I love it.

The great thing about this film is that nothing feels forced or fake, these crazy things happen and these people try to deal with it the best way they know how. I really enjoyed the road trip part and I really thought that once they made it to the pageant that it would get a little more serious but it just got wackier and more hilarious. To see all those little eight year old girls dressed up with more make up than Tammy Faye, I mean it was disturbing, funny yes, but --damn-- you realize that little Olive might not fit in with this particular crowd. They prove that no matter how messed up or crazy their lives seem to be nothing is crazier or more out of touch with reality then a Miss America pageant for infants. You should run and see this movie as soon as possible; it was quite possibly the funniest movie I've seen in a long long time. Unfortunately for most people this film is in a platform release so unless you live in New York or LA you might have to wait a while, but I have a feeling that the good buzz on this film will grow. It's got a lot of heart, it's sad but it'll be the funniest thing you'll see this summer, I promise.

Grade: 5 Buckets

1 comment:

Captain Mike said...
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