A dark comedy that will keep you laughing, “Little Miss Sunshine” is the feel-good movie of the year.
When Olive is told that she has made the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, the whole family piles into their old VW bus, and everything that can go wrong, does.
Steve Carell’s character is suicidal, the son doesn’t talk, the father is absorbed in his work, the grandfather is an addict, and the mother just sits there. On the way to the pageant, the bus breaks down, someone dies, and the son goes crazy.
I was a little confused in the beginning but I kept thinking how brilliant the movie is. It is beautifully done and beautifully cast with actors who really get into their roles.
Steve Carell, with the most serious role, is the best. You can see the pain is his eyes; the sadness of this character is a far cry from the comedic roles he usually plays. It really fits him.
Greg Kinnear is the loser husband who always brings his work home with him. He is a motivational speaker about losers and winners. “You don’t want to be a loser, do you?” he asks everyone. He doesn’t realize that he himself is a loser.
Toni Collette plays a mother who tries to keep everything together. She is the brains of the family. If something happens, she tries to fix it. Alan Arkin plays the addict grandfather who nonetheless has a lot of wisdom.
Paul Dano plays the mute son who decides not to to talk until he gets into the Air Force Academy. Throughout the movie, he shows that the only person he cares about in the family is Olive. When he finds out he’s colorblind (and therefore can’t be in the Air Force), he starts talking again. Although he couldn’t care less about everything, he is there for Olive.
Last but not least is the main character Olive, played by Abigail Breslin. The little girl wants nothing more than to be in a beauty pageant and because everyone in her family will do anything for her, they try to make that dream come true.
“Little Miss Sunshine” is a dark comedy that will put a smile on your face. It is a pro-family movie that will take you by surprise because it’s so emotional.
If you’re looking to laugh for a long time, I suggest “Little Miss Sunshine.” You won’t regret it, trust me.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.