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No one among the Hoovers quite has it together, but it’s not for lack of trying. They might not be the picture of perfect mental health, but when a fluke gets Olive invited to compete in the fiercely competitive “Little Miss Sunshine” competition in California, the whole Hoover family rallies behind her.
Comedy (Dark) - While a little girl and a girls' beauty pageant is at the center of
the film, this quirky, somewhat dark road comedy is aimed at an
adult audience, as raunchy and drug references don't make it
exactly family fare.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good If properly marketed, Little Miss Sunshine could prove to be a sleeper hit. It's the kind of picture audiences enjoy because there's substance to go with the humor, and movie-goers will leave the theater feeling uplifted.
USA TodayFull Review Very Good It has been a while since we've seen such a consistently funny and entertaining road movie...
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 69 moviegoers: Moviegoers, for the most part, enjoyed "Little Miss Sunshine," but not quite as much as critics. All the teens enjoyed it. About half the adults enjoyed it, rating it "Very Good" or higher. However, most of the remaining half rated it average, which is a little low. A few even rated it below average or lower (not good). I suspect the quirky story is what the critics enjoyed. Unfortunately, quirky movies often aren't what the average moviegoer enjoys. So, if your taste in movies tends to run close to that of critics then "Little Miss Sunshine" is for you. Most of the rest of you will likely enjoy it, at least to some degree.
No one among the Hoovers quite has it together, but it's not for lack of trying. Father Richard (GREG KINNEAR), a hopelessly optimistic motivational speaker, is desperately attempting to sell his 9-step program for success -- without much success. Meanwhile, the Hoovers' "pro-honesty” mother Sheryl (TONI COLLETTE) is constantly harried by her family's eccentric secrets, especially those of her brother (STEVE CARELL), a suicidal Proust scholar fresh out of the hospital after being jilted by his gay lover. Then there are the younger Hoovers with their unlikely dreams – the four-eyed, slightly plump, seven year-old would-be beauty queen Olive (ABIGAIL BRESLIN) and Dwayne (PAUL DANO), an anger-fueled, Nietzsche-reading teen who has taken a staunch vow of silence until he gets into the Air Force Academy. Topping off the family is the grandfather (ALAN ARKIN), a foul-mouthed pleasure-seeker recently kicked out of his retirement home for snorting heroin.
They might not be the picture of perfect mental health, but when a fluke gets Olive invited to compete in the fiercely competitive "Little Miss Sunshine” competition in California, the whole Hoover family rallies behind her. They pile into their rusted-out VW bus and head West on a three-day tragicomic journey filled with madcap surprises and leading up to Olive's big debut – which will change the entire misfit family in ways they could never imagine.