Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


Movie Review

Directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, and Alan Arkin

Sheryl Hoover (Toni Collette) has one crazy family.  She’s overworked.  Her husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) isn’t bringing home any dough as an unsuccessful motivational speaker.  Her gay brother Frank (Steve Carell) has recently moved in with her in her Albuquerque, New Mexico home after a suicide attempt.  Her father Edwin (Alan Arkin) was kicked out of a retirement home for dealing heroin to other seniors.  Her eccentric teenage son Dwayne (Paul Dano) has taken a vow of silence, and her daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) has entered the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest.  To compete in the competition, Olive must make her way to California in two days.  Sheryl and Richard simply cannot afford sending her on her own to Cali, so the entire family gets into a Volkswagen and goes on a cross-country road trip to the competition on the West Coast.

Little Miss Sunshine is a film that highlights the hilarity of family life.   From heroin addicts to self-declared mutes, Jonathan Dayton and Valeri Faris satirize the dysfunctional American family.  Their directorial debut is outrageously funny and surprisingly touching.  With the comedic talents of Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, and others, it’s not surprising that Little Miss Sunshine stands as one of the most hilarious indies to ever grace the big screen.  Definitely, watch this one when you have a chance.  Alan Arkin’s performance alone is worth the price of admission.  He is a comedic genius that will have you rolling on the floor laughing your ass off.



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