Monday, December 11, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

I wasn't sure what to expect from Little Miss Sunshine. From the trailers it seemed like an indie-orientated family road-trip movie and I suppose to a certain extent it is. You have what could be construed as cliché family members: self-righteous dad who tries his best to force his opinions and beliefs on everybody else even though he's a loser; an angst-ridden teen; gay uncle working out his own issues and a grandfather who has reached a certain age he doesn't care who he offends. However, it is how these characters work together and the situations they find themselves in that elevates this film to hilarious heights instead of hitting comedy rock bottom.

The film begins as a young girl, Olive, is reviewing a Miss America pageant and mimicking her winning emotional behaviour. Meanwhile the father, Richard, is presenting his 9-step plan to a group of school children and the mother, Sheryl, is picking her brother Frank up from hospital after a failed suicide attempt. As they congregate at the family house for dinner, we are introduced to Olives older teenage brother Dwayne who is on a self-imposed silence and hates everyone and their grandfather Edwin who is snorting heroin before dinner.

During the less-than-successful family dinner where arguing and bickering ensues, a phone call is made whereby Olive finds out that due to a drop-out she is now in contention for the Little Miss Sunshine title. Leaving no-one behind, the family jump into their VW wagon and set off across the country to the pageant where comedy drama ensues.

The key to the laughs in this film are mainly down to two things: the actors delivery of the material and the material itself. Some of the best lines are delivered by Alan Arkin who plays the free-talking grandfather who has been secretly training Olive for her routine for pageants. He speaks his mind about whatever he feels like including his own life-experience advice. Naturally, this being a road-movie, everyone learns something and they are richer for the experience. The bonus is that the audience is richer for the laughs they are given. Despite the apparent un-original set-up, Little Miss Sunshine is far greater than the sum of its parts and is a charming, laugh-out-loud family road movie for adults.

I would give this film 8.2 chicken wings out of 10.



Blogger Skry said...

Face lock chicken wings?

12:49 am  
Anonymous steve said...

Watched this last night and had myself a good few laughs, just what was needed. The next feature presentation chez Biscuit could well be "Children Of Men" which is cooling in my DVD burner as I type.

See you Monday!

8:27 am  

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