Little Miss SunshineJonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Little Miss Sunshine is one of the funniest films I've seen (the last being Khosla ka Ghosla). I'm not sure it needs to be analysed beyond that. One can take the gist of the film ("troubled family takes a roadtrip in an increasingly disintegrating vehicle to allow their little girl to have a shot at a beauty pageant for 6 or 7-year olds") and turn it into an allegory about life and hanging-in-there and the possibility of family values in these manic times. Or one could just sit back and be introduced to your laughing guts. Most reviews start with describing the group as a "dysfunctional family" (Dustin Hoffman said the film put the "fun" back into "dysfunctional" :-)), which doesn't surprise me but which I feel overstates things. Each member, except for Olive, has their own share of problems which at an individual level is incredibly painful. But if this is a "dysfunctional family", what, then, is normal?
But there I go analysing again. The movie is a must-watch. It boasts of some great acting with established actors like Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, favourites like Toni Collete, and surprises like Steve Carell and Paul Dano (when the latter explodes, man, the relief!). And of course, the wonderful Abigail Breslin as the icecream-fearing Litte Miss Sunshine aspirant picked up an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress (Arkin got a nod in the corresponding Male category). The film is also the indie choice in the Best Film category.
And I challenge you to to keep a straight face during the climax. To give you a sense, my own hysterical laughter would have given the Joker some anxious moments.