(2006) dir. Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
The little “indie” flick annoyed the hell out of me. The film strives to portray the quirky charm of an off-beat feel-good comedy, populated with a number of moderately well-known actors, some of whom can be good in things. But this whole thing seemed utterly put on and full of crap to me.
All of the characters, except the mom for some reason, have quirks that make them the goofy, semi-dysfunctional, pseudo-modern nuclear family. The dad is a wanna-be motivational speaker (I guess a failed motivational speaker), the granddad is a porn-loving, coke-snorting crass curmudgeon, the son has taken a vow of silence for the past 9 months and wants to be an air force pilot, the uncle is a self-lothing, gay Proust scholar just coming out of a suicide attempt, and the daughter, the awkward and funky bespectacled frump wants to be a beauty queen despite being nothing like the beauty queens. Why the mom is simply a smoker, I just didn’t get.
Also, why the family is willing to hop into their beaten-down, yellow VW bus to cruise all the way to California from Albuquerque for the “Little Miss Sunshine” pageant that the daughter gets invited to since she was a runner up in a local competition…when they get there it’s just as glam and ridiculous as the junior beauty pageants made famous by the death of JonBenét Ramsey…why that is a shock, why that the little girl who is a goofy, fun, geeky weirdo is not what the pageant is all about. Why that is a surprise….?
This movie is all a stupid concept that is a sham of a story. It’s meaningless and pretentious in its attempt to be something anything above Beerfest (2006) or even Jackass: Number Two (2006) is bunk crap.
For what this movie is and what this movie wants to be, it’s almost as bad as anything I can think of.