Prior to seeing Little Miss Sunshine tonight, I had only spoken to three people who had seen it. All three said it was a "must see" and that it was really good. Normally I take these things with a grain of salt but two of these people are among those whose opinions I think I trust (at least in terms of spending $9 on a movie). The third was our waitress for dinner right before going to the theater.
All I have to say is: they weren't joking.
Little Miss Sunshine is about Olive's (Abigail Breslin) family's efforts to get her to the finals of the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant in California (from New Mexico). Her father, Richard (Greg Kinnear), is a motivational speaker. Her mother is Sheryl (Toni Collette). Her brother, Dwayne (Paul Dano), has taken a vow of silence. And her grandfather (Alan Arkin) has been helping Olive train for her talent in the competition. Joining them is Olive's uncle, Frank (Steve Carrell).
Because of strange circumstances in each of their respective lives, the entire family must accompany Olive to California in their VW Bus. Due to those circumstances and other problems they face on their way to the pageant, the trip is very eventful. As you've seen from the commercials, they have transmission problems and they have to push the bus to get a running start, which obviously leads to many funny situations.
One of the very early funny scenes in the movie is when Frank (Carrell) first gets to the house and is trying to have a conversation with Dwayne (Dano), learning of his vow of silence. Frank asks who he hangs around with and Dwayne writes in his pad: "I hate everyone". Frank then asks, "What about your family?" and Dwayne quickly underlines "everyone".
If you've seen these trailers and thought that this was a movie you should go see -- you're right. Go see it. It's worth it. If someone's told you (other than me) that this is worth seeing, let me join the club. If you aren't interested in this movie, I hope I can change your mind. I'd really love to give more info about the movie, but I don't want to give away the funny parts.
Not that I've seen a lot of movies this year (well, I've seen more this year than I have in the last 5 years combined), but this is by far the best movie I've seen this year. It's the best movie I've seen ads for this year. I'm putting my vote in now (like it counts) for "Best Picture" at the Oscar's and a "Best Supporting Actor" for Steve Carrell.
Go see it.
Image taken from IMDB.