Good film. Not quite Best Pic nominee worthy IMO, and as Mitch said, overrated.
I'd rate the film a little higher than Mitch did though. Him being more dialed into the Hollywood/Academy community than I am, I could see how he "two footballed" it. It got alot of hype, and rereading his review, I could sense that he liked the film, but it just failed to live up to all the buzz he'd been forcefed on it.
Goofy ending hurt this one for me. I'm not one for sappy endings with feel good messages, but I thought this movie deserved one, and the ending they chose was just an easy way out.
Plot line: A disfunctional family packs in the canary yellow family van to drive from Albequerce, NM to California to enter their seven year old daugher in the "Little Miss Sunshine" paegant, an opportunity this little girl has longed for. The father (Greg Kinnear) is a failed motivational speaker. The mother (Toni Collette) is actually pretty sane. The brother has taken a vow of silence, which allows him to escape somewhat from the family whose very presence torments him. The uncle (The 40 Year Old Virgin Guy), a renowned Proust scholar, has recently attempted suicide following an unsuccessful romance with a male graduate student. And the grandfather (Alan Arkin) is the womanizing confidant of the young girl, who also is addicted to porn and snorting heroin.
And the little girl is played brilliantly by Abigal Breslin. The 9 year old is up for best supporting actress tomorrow, and deservingly so. Also, Arkin is up for best supporting actor as Grandpa. A great role for sure, but I thought that The 40 Year Old Virgin was actually more deserving. Like Mitch, I had no clue that guy could really act.
The movie is at times hysterical. And despite the innocent plot line, there are some pretty really R rated spots and lines, specially from Grampa. And the acting and casting is top, top notch. I was really impressed with the underrated Collete, and The Virgin.
This is one of those films, if you read the plot summary, you may not be inclined to rent it. But its well worth seeing.