Anthony's Film Review
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Humor and positive themes make this family a likable one...
Allow me to introduce the Hoover family. You have Richard (Greg Kinnear), the father who as a motivational speaker is obsessed with the idea of winning. His son Dwayne (Paul Dano) does not speak as a vow of silence as he spends most of his time reading Nietzsche. Uncle Frank (Steve Carell) had been in a mental asylum for attempted suicide. Grandpa (Alan Arkin) is a drug addict who is addicted to porn. Sheryl (Toni Collette) tries real hard to hold this dysfunctional family together.
And then there's Olive (Abigail Breslin). She is the little girl who has dreams of winning a beauty pageant. She watches a recording of one and imitates the expression of surprise that the winner displays. For the most part, she does not seem like a dysfunctional little girl nor does she get involved in the family's crazy interactions. She's just simply in the middle of it without acting as if it affects her. And she is cute, too. From beginning to end, this is a girl you can immediately adore.
The story begins with the family having dinner, where you can clearly see how weird this family is. Then it goes into a road trip from New Mexico to California. Olive is a contestant in the Little Miss Sunshine child beauty contest, but the family cannot afford plane tickets. Their only choice is for the family to drive in their VW bus. There are funny things that happen along the way, mainly involving, as you would expect, things going wrong that delay the trip.
The film works because of humor, as some people may point out. For me, what really makes the film shine are the touching moments of the film. I like how even this unusual family can eventually learn to get along and work together to solve problems. I enjoyed the dialogue written for the film simply because it makes the characters come alive.
Besides that, the film's central theme cleverly underlies the quirkiness of the Hoover family. The important thing is not winning, but being the best you can be. If you can do that, then you can accept and love yourself. It's a very relevant message when you consider the culture of competition and winning that dominates America.
Whether it is the humor or the themes that might appeal to you, Little Miss Sunshine is an entertaining movie and worth checking out for an hour and forty minutes.
For more information about Little Miss Sunshine, visit the Internet Movie Database.