Being a huge fan of Steve Carell, I thought it was necessary to go back and watch “Little Miss Sunshine“. This is one of those independent movies that you are either going to really understand and thoroughly enjoy, or you aren’t going to lock onto the humor and it will just turn out boring you. I’ve known people on both sides of the argument, and no one is wrong, it is just preference. I am personally one who very much enjoys this movie.
When little Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) gets accepted into the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ beauty contest, her entire family, including her mother (Toni Collette), motivational-speaking father (Greg Kinnear), mute brother (Paul Dano), heroine snorting grandfather (Alan Arkin), and suicidal uncle (Steve Carell) gather into their yellow van and head to California in support of little Olive.
Already, the film is about a strange topic, a beauty pageant for little girls. Those actually exist, but it’s hard not too think of those as just weird in general. Who would want to subject their child to feminism at all? Let alone at such a young formidable mind? However, this entire family was messed up in so many ways, so somehow everything put together fit magnificently.
Abigail Breslin wore a fat suit in this film probably to make herself look more innocent to fit the role. Steve Carrell’s character Uncle Frank was a suicide survivor, so he views the world as if it has no meaning, but he loves his family, which calls for some great awkward humor. The characters may all be way out there, but each one on their own is actually pretty believable, this movie just showcases how things would work out if a family was put together with an incredibly different arrangement of personalities. No matter how polar opposite everyone is in the family, they are still family. They love each other in their own way, and that part of the film is truly genuine.
The van, in all of it’s broken humor, should be seen as nothing less than another character in this film. It wouldn’t be the same if say, they drove in another random van or car. This van was unique, and most of all, memorable in the movie. How many movies can you say have a memorable vehicle that the main character drives? Not too many, but they do exist.
This is one of Steve Carell’s best roles to this day. He may have been recognized for his humor a year before in “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, but he immediately showed the world that he has the ability to act in a more serious role, which was a smart move so he wouldn’t be seen as a typecast. It’s not only Steve Carell that does a great job, but every last portrayal of acting in this film from Abigail, Toni, Greg, Alan, and Paul are also absolutely incredible and they all contribute perfectly to the film.
The music in this movie was also phenomenal, and matched the overall theme and feel of the film. It was clear that the directors had a vision for this movie and correctly accomplished what they were going for. There is a perfect assortment of comedy and seriousness that is all wrapped together brilliantly in this independent film. If you have not yet seen this film, I would greatly suggest doing so.