Little Miss Sunshine dir. by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Families are a source of much amusement and not a little tragedy. Especially when your father is a motivational speaker, whose “9 steps to winning” doesn’t seem to be working, your uncle is an attempted suicide, and your brother is a wannabe fighter pilot who has taken a vow of silence and so hasn’t spoken in months. Not to mention a heroin snorting grandfather. Not exactly the most functional of families. But when Olive, a little girl who dreams of winning beauty pageants, gets a chance to compete for the Little Miss Sunshine title, the entire family is forced into helping her achieve her dream.
I don’t want to give away too much about this film. In a way the plot isn’t really important. Instead it is the characters that are important. Their relationships with one another, and their quirks and faults.
I really enjoyed this film, it is funny and moving at the same time. Yes every now and then things get a little too “kooky”, but at the same time it all works. The humour is great, one-liners and visual gags. The situations are somewhat forced, but it doesn’t really matter. It all works.
There is also a satirical aspect to the film, but it isn’t particularly cutting satire, it is all good humoured and just plain nice. On the surface it seems as though it going to be a dark comedy, but although there is death, and suicide, and even a hint of paedophilia, but it isn’t dark. Not really. It is too good natured and feel good to be dark in the strictest sense. It takes the middle ground, but it isn’t a middle of the road film.
I enjoyed every moment of Little Miss Sunshine; from the out and out funny moments to the touching, moving moments. Highly recommended.