Little Miss Sunshine 2006
Directed By: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
The story begins in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Olive (Abigail Breslin) standing in front of a television watching and imitating the face of a young lady being the next Miss America, this first shot has shown a lot about the movie as seen to the reflection of her eyeglasses, it is about beauty pageant, being a winner, and being beautiful. I call this movie as one tragic comedy film but its tragedy created a big and impacting change to each of the characters in the story.
Why this Movie is highly recommended? Because its humor is so subtle but it’s remarkably funny, their dysfunctional relationship with each other is so comical, and despite with their differences and conflicts they were able to come to terms on their trip from New Mexico to California on their old Volkswagen yellow van, with a very tight budget they traveled hundreds of miles to have Olive make it to the competition of Little Miss Sunshine to be a winner as what his father always tells her. Her dream to become one was obviously introduced on the television, making her believe that’s the most important and meaningful way of life existence.
They went on the following day with his Dad Richard (Greg Kinnear) who is trying to be a motivational speaker and has a different perception in having winning attitude, obsessed of being a winner for he never experienced being one, her Mom Sheryl (Toni Colette) an overworked mother and trying to make things right in the family but overwhelmingly stressed, along with them is Sheryl’s brother Frank (Steve Carell) an Unemployed but a Number 1 Scholar of Proust, who recently committed suicide but failed to die because his boyfriend left him with another Proust scholar who recently became the Number 1 proust, with Brother Dwayne (Paul Dano) who has taken a vow of silence until he accomplishes his dream to become a test pilot and hasn’t been speaking for 9 months already, only communicates by writing his responses on a notepad, and Edwin (Alan Arkin) Richard’s father who were evicted from the retirement home for snorting heroin, and advises Dwayne to fuck many girls as he can since he is still young, and he regrets not being able to do that when he was in his teens.
They used an Old Yellow Van to get to California, then suddenly it doesn’t want to move anymore, seems it doesn’t want to let them reach their destination, and the only way for them to make it to California is by pushing the Van until its engine starts running, and they will need to do the pushing all to together and one by one they will need to scram to get in. This road trip is not supposed to be an adventure, it didn’t become an adventure though but; it was a trip that has changed their lives forever, we have six characters on this film they all have goals, but even before the story ends none of them accomplished what they want.
The Movie used the pageant as a metaphor or symbolism of being left out or different and it seems that the only acceptable thing in this world is to be one of them, like in Olive’s case she doesn’t look like those bunch of girls who looks like an over-sized doll with plastic smile on their faces, she is unique in her own way but she was not accepted by those bunch of shallow people, his grandfather told her once ” A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning he doesn’t even try“. This film has depicted how a society can judge you as a person, and winning should always come from peoples judgement, you will not win if you are hated, because you are not accepted based on their standards.
Being accepted by a society based on your physical appearance, status in life is what has made our life much stressful and depressing we have accepted life challenges but we never face challenges at all, instead, we face it with fear of rejection and being an outcast. Little Miss Sunshine has executed those turmoils in life in just one single trip to California, the whole trip was funny, stressing, tragic, but in the end it was worth the journey, somehow they have accepted their differences, they helped each other and depend on each other, and yes they have each other when all the people in that pageant look at them differently.