I recieved preview passes to see Little Miss Sunshine yesterday evening. I was skeptical as hell going into the film. The film has won a few audience awards and critics awards at several festivals but that made me even more skeptical. In the past 5 years or so it seems every independent film that crosses into the mainstream has the same formula. Quirky characters battling lonliness and finding love. Hell, I have one of those at home via Netflix now that I have a bad attitude about, but will watch anyway since its been so highly reccomended. This is slightly different in the way that its a family drama/comedy. And it seems to be in the totally bizzare/quirky family mindset of Arrested Development which will be a formula copied numerous times over the next few years, I think.
But despite my bad attitude going into the movie I found myself liking it quite a bit. I was perhaps in part manipulated by the music which featured quite a bit of Sufjan Stevens. The music definitely fit the melancholy yet happy vibe that the film was putting out there. I also did laugh out loud at numerous points. Alan Arkin was great, Greg Kinnear was very good, and Toni Collette was actually outstanding. Parts of the plot were predictable, but predictability doesn't really ruin a movie if the story remains genuine. And while contrived at points and indie-formlaic you got the idea that the writer and actors really were having a good time and believed in this project.
I really think this film is gonna be one of those end of summer sleeper hits. The quirky little movie that you will here being talked about on Oprah and by soccer moms and everywhere else really. Good for them, its a good film and inspite of some shortcomings it definitely works. There will probably be better films that are overlooked in favor of this, but this has a story that will connect with a much wider audience. I am interested to see how it is recieved upon wide release, and see if I am right here.