Little Miss Sunshine (2006, Dayton & Faris)

Among the top 200 movies ever made, according to the IMDB!

Failed motivational speaker Greg Kinnear hops aboard the family’s busted VW bus along with goodwife Toni Collette, heroin-sniffin’ grandpa Alan Arkin, silent sullen teen Paul Dano (the kid from L.I.E.), suicidal gay Proust scholar brother Steve Carrell, and little miss sunshine candidate Abigail Breslin to get from Albequerque NM to somewhere in California in a day or two.

Grandpa dies, Dano finds out he can’t fly jets cuz he’s colorblind, Kinnear goes bankrupt when his buddy can’t sell his program at a big conference, Carrell runs into his crush at a gas station, and mom ties it all together and doesn’t get any quirks of her own. The little miss sunshine pageant is a disaster, and after Abigail does a striptease dance her grandpa taught her, the whole family dances on stage and is thrown out.


Not really a plot-strong movie, but funny, especially in the first half. Alan Arkin won an oscar for delivering the funniest lines and swearing a lot, narrowly beating out Marky Mark for doing the same thing in The Departed… that’s all it takes these days. I’m just glad he beat Eddie Murphy, who dared to expect an Oscar for his work the same week he released Norbit.

Movie has caught some flack for being depressingly negative with its hopeless characters, but it’s not like I took any of them seriously, so I didn’t think so. Grandpa’s death wasn’t even sad (or funny, really… I would’ve preferred to see him laughing at the strip dance at the end). Wasn’t painting a dark, downward-spiralling portrait of the american family, just showing a bunch of silly weirdos on a road trip. Don’t think the movie had any higher purpose than that, which makes you wonder why it got a Best Picture nomination I guess. Nowadays you’ve just gotta hand it to any halfway-funny comedy that doesn’t die in the second half.

Katy liked it too.