Little Miss Sunshine 2006 Movie Scene Paul Dano as Dwayne crying after running out of the van to scream with Toni Collette as Sheryl and the rest of the family in the background

Little Miss Sunshine [2006]

Little Miss Sunshine is one of those movies that just blew me away. I actually had to come back after a few years and rewrite the entire review because it didn’t do justice to this masterpiece. It deals with many issues that are plaguing not only people in the USA but the entire world. One of which is that whole beauty pageant thing for children. I’m still don’t know how or why such a thing is able to exist in this world.

Strangely enough, Little Miss Sunshine is actually a road trip movie that involves a family and not some hot teenagers. If you think back, you might remember National Lampoon’s Vacation from 1983 starring Chevy Chase. It used a similar concept but with a completely different vibe. They were making a comedy and uses the element of a family to that effect. Here, we have comedy, crime, and drama all wrapped up into one nice package.

However, satire and black humor sealed the deal for me. Not to mention the cast that was just perfect. I want to name someone, but it’s simply impossible because then I would have to name them all. This is what you get when you have great actors given great lines and direction, a masterpiece. This is a movie for all of us who don’t feel like we belong in the official system of values.

Meet Olive Hoover, a young girl who dreams about beauty pageants. She watches them all the time, mesmerized by that iconic “tiara” moment. She’s determined to be a winner at one of those contests and she practices her routines incessantly. Helping her with this is her grandpa Edwin, who has just been kicked out of a retirement home for using heroin.

The rest of the family is also not doing so well. Her brother took a vow of silence, her father is deep in his motivational theory and her uncle just tried to kill himself. However, when she learns that she qualified for the “Little Miss Sunshine” beauty pageant that is being held in Redondo Beach, California in two days, the entire family will pack up in their yellow Volkswagen T2 van and hit the road.

There’s just so much comedy in Little Miss Sunshine that it’s unbelievable. It’s not just the jokes and slapstick, but the atmosphere and the whole vibe this movie puts out is somehow funny but also energizing. Sometimes it’s enough that the camera pans to Steve Carell, sitting there all miserable and suicidal and I just couldn’t stop myself laughing. Despite this doom and gloom, they are still fighting, not willing to give up although everything seems to be falling apart.

This is where the cast of Little Miss Sunshine really came through. They had such a good time on the set that the chemistry was visible to us, the viewers, in such a way that it was impossible to miss it. I could go on and on about different aspects of this masterpiece, but it’s best that you check it out for yourself, enjoy.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Michael Arndt

Cast: Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Steve Carell

Fun Facts: The movie took five years to make, mostly due to financial reasons.


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