Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 film directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and starring Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, and Alan Arkin.

It's story of the Hoovers, an average american family who, as I would put it, put the 'fun' back into 'dysfunctional'. Father Richard (Greg Kinnear) is shamelessly (and unsuccessfully) promoting his "Refuse to Lose" self help program to a presumably famous self help guru, wonderfully played by Bryan Cranston, of Malcolm in the Middle fame. Mother Sheryl (Toni Collette) works constantly to hold together her family. Her Brother, Uncle Frank (Steve Carell), is recovering from a recent suicide attempt after being jilted by his lover. The younger Hoovers, Olive ( Abigail Breslin) a seven year old wannabe beauty queen, and Dwayne (Paul Dano) a Nietzshe- reading teenager with dreams of flying jets for a living. And lastly, the druggie sex-crazed grandfather (Alan Arkin), who tutors Olive in dancing.

The film follows the Hoovers from their home in Albuquerque along a journey to California in an old VW bus, where seven year old Olive is to compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" juvenile beauty pageant. What happens along the way showcases the brilliant cinematography and exquisite acting without ever becoming too alt-film preachy. The story is well crafted and heartwarming, but realistically edgy. This film misses becoming pretentious by miles, though in the hands of less capable directors might have been too sappy or trite.

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