Friday, August 18, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Sometimes I see a much-hyped film like Little Miss Sunshine and I spend the entire movie wondering why this film is being fawned over by press and audiences alike? The first hour of this dysfunctional family comedy I didn’t laugh at all. Maybe I was in a bad mood or something? Maybe it was the crowd around me that caused me to not enjoy what I was watching? Maybe the film was not as good as advertised?

But miraculously, as sometimes happens, the film won me over and the ending was probably the best ending I’ve seen all year in a movie. It’s a funny, joyous, unpredictable and full of life ending and it completely changed the way I thought about Little Miss Sunshine. Now I’m thinking of watching it again to see if I misjudged the early bits.

I think a big problem in my enjoyment of Little Miss Sunshine was the fact I went to a free screening at the local crappy multiplex. If you’ve ever been to one of these freebies you know they stuff them full of chattering yahoos, who are there to see a free movie regardless of what is being screened.

Well, I found myself sitting next to a young girl who couldn’t have been older than ten who guffawed and laughed every single time people around us laughed. Little Miss Sunshine has a smart script, full of sometimes sophisticated dialogue about Proust, Nietzsche, suicide, drugs and other “adult” subjects.

Frankly, I just do not believe this kid understood what was happening well enough to find the material so humorous. Unless, she’s some kind of savant or is really sophisticated but I swear this girl was about nine years old. Listening to this kid laughing and covering her mouth started to really annoy me and I couldn’t really get into the story. Seriously, it was worse than a cell-phone going off next to me.

Then the ending was on me and I really loved the last part in spite of the phony laughing of the kid next to me. So, I’m confused. Was Little Miss Sunshine a lot better than the first hour seemed? If the entire film was as good as the last twenty minutes (especially the ending), then I let some kid ruin a good movie experience.

One thing is for sure, I don’t know why I keep going to those crowded free screenings, as all they ever do is frustrate, distract and annoy me. I guess the "free" keeps enticing me no matter if it means I'll sit next to some person who will irritate me the entire film.


Junto said...

I think your reaction was probably shared by many viewers. Once the film started paying off in the second half, I found myself respecting the groundwork laid by Kinnear and Carell. Here's my take on LMS

kapgar said...

That's five in favor, zero against. I NEED to see this movie.

Laura said...

If I am ever rich and famous, I will invite you over to my home theater to screen new films in absolute silence. I think you and I have a disorder. Someone will crinkle their popcorn bag and I will want to shoot them in the eye.

I loved this movie so much, by the way. From start to finish. I want to adopt Olive. She's my dream daughter.

Anonymous said...

I didn't really think it was a great movie until the last 20 minutes or so too. I thought the teenage kid was kinda lame. Steve Carrel was awesome though. I caught it on DVD, so I didn't have to listen to anyone else's corny guffaws (other than my own)