My Little Miss Sunshine

It is very hard these days to find a great movie that brings the aspect of comedy and drama together. Most are your usual sappy moments sandwiched in between some over the top comedy. Not here. "Little Miss Sunshine" is anti-formula, rarely predictable, smart, highly entertaining, quirky, and very original. Quite simply - everything is first-rate in this movie. And there's a real, mature, adult story-line here. This group of actors was the perfect ensemble. Every single performance was great! The looks they gave each other were better performances in and of themselves than most actors can hope to evoke with the spoken word.

It begins with 7-year-old Olive (Abigail Breslin) watching the Miss America pageant and studies it with fascination. It's obviously recorded and she replays the same moment over and over again. She's so unused to winning she has to live through someone else's victory. We meet her father (Greg Kinear) a low-level self-help guru whose also on the verge of success, but not just there yet. Her mother (Toni Colette) can only see the success that comes from supporting a family that lives to see another day. Her uncle (Steve Carell) has just lost his job, lover, and everything else and had hit rock bottom (he couldn't even succeed in committing suicide). Her brother (Paul Dano) reads Nietzsche and refuses to talk. And then there's Grandpa (Alan Arkin), who cradles a new habit (heroine) and helps his granddaughter in her routines for her own rise as a child beauty queen (the fact that she is bordering on being overweight doesn't stop her). The story turns when Olive finds out she's been picked to run for Little Miss Sunshine, a pageant in Los Angeles. Due to a tricky set of circumstances, everybody is required to come along in the old yellow VW van. While on the trip, the revealing character moments are so pure it's sometimes hard to believe it's a comedy.

I laughed at the final dance scene so hard that my head hurt. This is a MUST see! 4 Stars!

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