A dysfunctional family go on a road trip from Albuquerque to Redondo Beach to enter their daughter in a beauty pageant.
Another one of those quirky to the core indie comedies, Little Miss Sunshine actually has a lot more depth to it than most. It’s essentially about the family as a loosely associated group of individuals who somehow manage to live together. Every member of the cast brings a pathos and likeability to their characters in their own particular way, from Greg Kinnear’s hilariously desperate motivational speaker, to Steve Carell’s suicidal voice of reason to Alan Arkin’s to-Hell-with-it-I’m-gonna-die-soon-anyway grandpa. It has loads of laugh out loud moments and a warmth that skillfully manages to sidestep contrived schmaltz.
It all ends up in a genuinely funny parody of the child beauty pageant mentality that’s pure celebration of individuality and although I often quickly weary of movies such as this, it was just as enjoyable on a second viewing.