"Little Miss Sunshine" is a fantastic movie. Nearing my mid thirties, I am constantly amazed at how much I like movies that are considerably small and seemingly simple. For instance, in my teen years, my favorite movie, hands down, was "Robocop". This movie had robo-heat and robo-action: Peter Weller's hand was shot off, Robocop takes out ED209, and we get to see the insane commercials of the a future late 1990s. But eventually "Robocop" was over-taken by "Forrest Gump". There were some 'splosions, tricky manipulation of real news footage, and a story that spanned decades. Yet, "Forrest Gump" was about a man, and not a cyborg. Then enlightenment. A friend in graduate school lent me a few Kevin Smith movies. These movies were cheaply made, had no special effects, and were populated by a cadre of amateurs. Yet I loved Kevin Smith's early movies. Now, today, after a youth of worshiping "Star Wars" and Spielberg, I find the small movies to be the most entertaining and likely the most fulfilling.
I didn't just get more cerebral or snooty about movies. My reviews of two stars movies tells of a man still interested in wholesale destruction. The enticing eye candy of special effects triumphs belies the truth of why we watch movies: it is in our nature to connect with other people. Just as we enjoy being with others, we like watching them and knowing their stories. Those movies that capitalize on this human nature are the movies that leave the most lasting impression. "Little Miss Sunshine" oozes humanity to the degree that I ended up feeling like a part of it
From the very beginning of "Little Miss Sunshine" to its very end, it is a movie about six members of a family, their lives, their feelings, and their connections to each other. Sure, all but the little girl were annoying in some way. Yet they were not some polarizing force. Everyone of them could be like someone you know. Heck, had I not known that every member of the cast was an actor, I would have pegged them all as real people. Ever member of the cast deserves an Oscar for the work they did. The ending also has a unifying theme and a morale that is quite uplifting.
Although only the 51st highest grossing film of 2006, it is likely the best.
If you do see "Little Miss Sunshine" and like the feeling it gives you, I recommend the minuscule budget movie "Pieces of April". It was outstanding in its timely showing and because it was filmed with a regular video camera, it probably looks even better on television.
Tagged: untimely reviews