Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Overlooked Movies: Little Miss Sunshine


A repeat from 2006, when this was a new movie.

This is a funny movie about a dysfunctional family that makes mine seem almost normal. It's essentially a road-trip movie that reminded me a lot of National Lampoon's Vacation in certain ways that it's probably best not to discuss; otherwise, I'd spoil some of the fun.

The trip ends not at Wally World but at the Little Miss Sunshine competition, an event as horrifying as anything I've seen in a movie in a long time. How Olive, the young girl in the family, ever got into such a competition in the first place is never explained. Oh, we know she won second prize in a previous competition, and that's not explained, either. I'd kind of like to know, given the way her Little Miss Sunshine bit goes.

A lot's not explained about the family, for that matter. It's more like they were assembled out of central casting and put together for the picture. Not that I cared. Every one of them is great. I especially liked Alan Arkin who talks a lot, and Paul Dano, who talks very little; but Toni Collette as the mother who tries to hold the crazy bunch together is fine, as is Greg Kinnear, the loser father who wants so much to be a winner. Steve Carell as the uncle is super. The real star of the picture, however, is Abigail Breslin, who deserves an Oscar nomination. She's just great.  (Update: She's recently appeared in the Scream Queens TV series and will be playing the role of Baby in the unnecessary remake of Dirty Dancing.)

Some of the scenes go on too long, especially the climactic one, but what the heck. I got a lot of laughs. If you haven't seen this movie, check it out.  Highly recommended.

7 comments:

Dan said...

Not outstanding, but a pleasant watch.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I know several people who have professed to hate this movie, which I can't understand. We loved it. I mean, the choice of music for the climactic performance alone was worth the price of admission, and as a very long-time fan of Alan ("Serpentine, Shelly!") Arkin, I was happy to see him win an Oscar at last. Yes, it was a little too long, but who cares? I had a great time.

But forgotten? No.

August West said...

I thought it was the best movie that came out that year. IMO it should of won Best Picture instead of "The Departed." On Saturday I watched "Maggie" on Amazon Prime. Abigail Breslin was terrific in it.

Bill Crider said...

She's having a nice career so far.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

MAGGIE was pretty good, if depressing. She was also in the classic ZOMBIELAND.

Don Coffin said...

Loved it. Loved Alan Arkin in it.

William Seward said...

Yeah. I enjoyed it greatly when it came out.