Movie Review - Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is about a highly disfunctional family that travels by VW bus from New Mexico to California so that their daughter Olive can compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pagent. Olive's dream is to become a beauty queen and the opening scene shows her watching a beauty pagent and imitating the winner. Her grandfather has been helping her to reherse her talent routine and she practices daily. They can't afford to fly to California, and due to circumstances, they all must go together in the VW bus to California.

The father, Richard (played by Greg Kinnear) is the inventor of a "9 Step Program" on being a "winner" and his opinions on avoiding loserdom are quite funny. He is suave, tanned, and styled out like a typical "motivational speaker".

Dwayne (the brother) doesn't speak (by choice) and reads philosophy. He hates everyone. He hasn't spoken in 9 months. He wants to be a pilot, and his mother bribes him to go on the trip by promising to allow him to go to flight school.

Sheryl, the mother, is a divorcee - Olive and Dwayne are not Richards children. She appears to be the glue that holds everyone together.

The Grandpa is hysterical. He has many vices all of which add a lot of humor to the picture. He is Olive's "coach" for her beauty pageant.

Sheryl's brother Frank (Steve Carell) is there as well - after a failed suicide attempt he must live with Sheryl and her family, and can't be left alone, so he's also along for the ride.

Okay, so mix all these people up with their problems, and the movie is an abolute trip. Many things happen along the way that could be construed as negative - but overall, the movie, to me, had a positive vibe. You see, Olive is not a beauty queen. She is a plain girl, with a bit of a belly and big bucked teeth. In reality she has no chance in a beauty pagent - but her family, with all of their problems never tells Olive that she can't do it.

In reality most families under stress (to put it lightly...) would simply skip the 800-mile, 2-day treck that they can't really afford, and simply tell their child, "Sorry honey, you really dont have a chance at winning and we can't afford it, so you don't get to be in the beauty pageant".

Not this family. They stand beind Olive in persuing her dream (win or lose) with confidence, and to me, that was very uplifting and positive.

Overall I thought Little Miss Sunshine was supremely funny and very well made.

Five green palm trees.