Saturday, January 13, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris, 2006) [5]
Maybe I'm missing something but I can't find anything that explains all the hype this film has been getting. Sure, it leaves you with a nice feel-good ending and it has all the eccentric characters that can be found in any Sundance favorite. The problem for me is that there's nothing here that is really refreshing to me; the characters feel like their traits are too forced upon. They're wacky just for the sake of being wacky, something I never particularly care for. The only saving grace is Abigail Breslin as Olive, the one character in this film that has some real grounding and brings the best out of the film, mostly this nation's preoccupation with winners. Her performance is the most real and impressive in the film, even though the Greg Kinnear character is also good as the loser father obsessed with winners. But a grandfather that starts snorting heroin just because he's old? Come on. The ending does redeem the film somewhat as the shameless nature of the Little Miss Sunshine pageant is exposed to the family and the audience. We come to realize that winning isn't everything and that the Hoovers have grown as a family through all the torture they've had to endure in trying to be winners. I guess that makes you feel good but I don't know if that's what I really want out of the ending. For an ending that is somewhat rewarding, it didn't feel that deserving seeing how unimpressive I felt the everything up to that point had been.

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