Review: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

If Snakes on a Plane does not appeal to your weekend movie appetite, then perhaps you should consider a different sort of film for you viewing pleasure.

Little Miss Sunshine is the story of an Albuquerque family that travels in a VW bus in order to help young Olive compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

An adorable Abigail Breslin (it’s the oversized glasses and armbands) shines as 10-year-old Olive, who is shockingly different from her fellow pageant contestants. Along for the ride is Olive’s dysfunctional family. Richard (Greg Kinnear),the overbearing father; Sheryl (Toni Collette) the overwhelmed mother; Uncle Frank (Steve Carell), a suicidal, gay, Proust scholar; the foul-mouthed, drug addicted Grandpa (played by Alan Arkin) and Dwayne (Paul Dano), Olive’s older brother who has taken a vow of silence.

Clearly, they have their problems. But during their eventful road trip the family discovers that they need each other more than they thought.

Little Miss Sunshine is a superb black comedy that is simply brilliant especially when outrageous humor is needed (i.e. the pageant scene). It is a touching, endearing, hysterical, dark, and special film that should be remembered (at least mentioned a lot) during award season and it is one that should not be missed.

Updated October 11, 2010