Little Miss Sunshine, a review

This well-acted film riddled with clichés was recommended to our household by multiple sources.  It was hailed as one of the most brilliant recent movies.

Filmmakers overstate their case.  In opening sequence we are introduced to suburban America populated with zombies.  Normality is abnormal. 

Don’t give into despair yet, because film professionals know better.  Thus they do not get married and do drugs.  Well, actually there are no film professionals in the picture; I’m just adding this tidbit for the record.  Don’t be too judgmental about drug use though, because even well-zombified family people, like grandpa in the picture do drugs.  Fucking hypocrites!

Filmmakers are not only sensual and human they are humane. They know that it’s not individuals who are the problem (except for George Bush maybe) it’s the system.  And so redemption comes via lifting a family from suburban hell, putting them on a road trip in a very photogenic Volkswagen minibus and getting the to embrace abnormality. Even the father, who at the onset appears to be the main source of the problem (think: Patriarchy) finds the light.

Girl beauty pageants appear to be an apotheosis of normality.  Never mind that at least since the murder of Joan Benet Ramsey Americans do not think of them as normal.  Never mind that even adult beauty contests are long out of style.

I want to commend the picture for a brave attempt to introduce a new cliché: a gay comp lit professor, who by virtue of being gay finds it easier then others to escape the evils of patriarchy and is perhaps the first in his company to find the light.  I’m a little puzzled though that the screenwriters dropped the graduate student crash plot line.  Absence of good lines is another weakness of the script.

I’m not sure that middle class suburbanites raising their kids with dignity and integrity will make for a good drama.  And yet drugged-out, suicidal zombies are getting a bit old by now.  I have to thank the Almighty for being Jewish; otherwise I’d be joining Pat Robertson in his culture war crusades. 

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January 14, 2007. Random thoughts.

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