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Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Little Miss, Little Miss Can't Be Wrong"

This Tuesday night, Danielle and I, and about 80 other of our close strangers, met up in Berkeley for an exclusive sneak preview of the new movie Little Miss Sunshine. Due to Danielle's internet-browsing prowess, we scored free tickets to the event.

I have never laughed so much in my entire life.

The story follows the mis-adventures of a family besieged by troubles, on their journey to California for the Little Miss Sunshine Children's Beauty pageant. Steve Carell has broken out as an outstanding actor after he left The Daily Show, and this movie shows the range he is truly capable of. His character, the number one renowned Proust scholar in the nation, has recently attempted suicide. This has landed him in the home of his sister, Toni Collette, and her struggling family. Her son has stopped speaking because of Frederich Nietchze, her Father-in-law, one outstanding Alan Arkin, was kicked out of his nursing home for snorting heroin, and her husband is striving to be the nations next Tony Robbins. Which brings us to her daugther, a homely little girl striving to be the next Miss America. It is because of her that the adventure begins.

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The family piles into an old Volkswagon Van and begins the trek to California. The trip is, of course, fraught with trouble. Not "The Hills Have Eyes" sort of trouble, but gutbusting tears of laughter (for the audience anyway) sort of fun.

The jokes were non-stop, every character is perfectly displayed, and the families troubles are funny, but not so outlandish as to be unbelieveable. And I absolutely loved the portrayal of the Children's Beauty pageant. It seemed right on, and I can not believe that people can't see how ludicrous that entire enterprise is. While the movie lacks a definate leading character, it tends to swing back and forth between them all, I think that its meandering plotline ties in well with the theme of a journey. The movie picks up in the middle of the families lives and ends in that same vein. While the characters grow and change throughout the movie, it didn't feel the need to wrap things up neatly at the end as 80's sitcoms were fond of. The script doesn't overwhelm the film, and while some, and I use that work lightly, of the comedy is a little high-brow, the film is neither presumptious, nor "better than you".

If you are going to only see one movie this summer, and everyone is saying Pirates of the Carribean is horrible, then go see this movie. Releases most everywhere (though I would recommend hitting up one of your smaller venues, like the Dobie or Alamo if you are in Austin) on Friday!

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**Side Note** For those of you who know, I'm pretty sure that Steve's character was actually written for Kevin Jones to play, but due to his busy schedule, he was unavailable. Especially the scene I've dubbed, "the sarcastic van scene", due to it being about sarcasm and in a van. I'm pretty sure I've had that same conversation with Kevin the past.

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