What a bit of sunshine can do in the most hopeless of situations!
A hilarious tragic-comedy that'll have you in splits while it breaks your heart. Situational humor that makes you forget the dysfunctionality of the family within which it happens. A streak of stray sunshine that momentarily obliterates the bleakness that surrounds a family ready to fall apart; parents on the brink of a divorce, a delusional father but a step away from bankruptcy, an overwhelmed mother who's recently been burdened with her thirty year old brother who is gay and suicidal, a war veteran grandfather who is obsessed with sex, a teenage son who has muted himself and lies buried in Nietzche while forced to share a room with the suicidal uncle. The only redeeming feature is Olive, the 9 year old, whose hundred watt smile could brighten a universe. She is competing in the final rounds of the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant that she is destined to lose because of her obvious little paunch; a result of her love for 'good food'!
I'm embarrassed to label the movie a comedy; even apologetic for finding it funny. The humor depicted was at the cost of a family's happiness; something I completely disregarded or was oblivious to, while reeling under peels of laughter in the movie hall. The fact I could do that, says a lot about how akin we are with situations such as those presented in the movie. I wonder if that is a statement on the society we live in? Are we to understand that dysfunctionality within a family is quite the norm? That we can calmly pass it by, even ignore it, and then go a step beyond to find humor in the bizarre situations that it creates? The next question that comes to mind is about the writer's intent. Was he holding up a mirror to society and smirking when he saw his audience laugh? Or else, like the rest of us, he's developed an immunity to this dysfunctionality that exists, and can now create humor, even while family values are being trampled on.
A must see for anyone who appreciates low key 'n top quality humor, rendered by some fine actors in unique situations that speak volumes for the storytellers creativity.