Friday, July 28, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine: fun for the whole family

Little Miss Sunshine is a darling ensemble movie about family. With some cussing and corpse-napping. And a semi-striptease by a 10-year-old. But despite its efforts to behave badly, Sunshine is cute as punch, often funny and deliciously simple. Sunshine takes a basic conceit (family must get daughter to beauty pageant in time) and adorns it with engaging characters thrust into situations of compounding absurdity. Oddly, the tenor and climax of the film reminded me of The Full Monty. It's equal parts ribald and wholesome, with a penultimate scene that is over-the-top in its aim to crowdplease. This'll be a sleeper hit, just like Full Monty was, based on word of mouth and the presence of Steve Carell, whose wardrobe suggests that he walked to the Sunshine set right after finishing the end-credits sequence of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

8 comments:

Maria W. said...

How was Toni Collette?

J.J. said...

Present. As in, she was there. The cast was good, but this wasn't a movie of performances. It was definitely an ensemble movie. Collette and Carell were very subdued. They weren't trying to steal any scenes or anything. The cast definitely functioned as a family unit. That said, I wish Collette had more of a chance to go hog wild.

Alanna said...

I disagree somewhat with that comment; I think performances were quite strong all around, in such a way that doesn't really make the audience aware of acting. Also, Olive is 7 in the movie. Anyway, Jeanette and I feel that Little Miss Sunshine is the new Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang in it's pleasant-funny-little-surprise-ness.

J.J. said...

I see no reason to mention Kiss Kiss in the same sentence as Sunshine.

Thank you for the correction on Olive's age. Breslin is 10 in real life, I think.

The performances are good, yes. My point was that none are standouts (which is appropriate) even though I wanted them to be.

RC said...

this looks like a really fun goofy, highly-enjoyable, small type of pic.

Thanks for the great, short review...it makes me want to see it more.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

Beedow said...

speaking of the full monty, i see six men take their thongs off nightly (save for mondays) in my current job.

Jeanette said...

Ensemble, yes, but Arkin really stole the show.

J.J. said...

That is fair. I love Alan Arkin, and it's great that the movie used his natural anger.