Your family decides to have a movie night. You all put on your pajamas, pull out the blankets, pop the popcorn, and turn out the lights to settle down in the living room. Now you are faced with the impossible task of picking a movie that you all agree on. Your little sister recommends a Disney movie. Your mom wants to watch a romance movie. Meanwhile, your dad is sitting back sulking because his action movie was pushed aside. Why not pick a movie meant for all ages, that everyone will find entertaining and can relate to? Little Miss Sunshine is a fantastic movie to bring up and discuss as a possible title to watch during your next family movie night.
The family is a dysfunctional one, with the loud and loving grandfather being addicted to heroin, the father being uptight and addicted to being successful, and the mother is just trying to make everybody happy. The kids are polar opposites, while the older brother has taken on a vow of silence in order to demonstrate discipline to get into the air force academy, his little sister is full of life and innocence, ready to take on the terrors of the big world. They are joined by the mother’s brother who had previously been fired from his job as a professor for having relations with one of his students, and had recently been discharged from a mental hospital. The family is traveling to California to enter the young girl into a beauty pageant and faces many challenges together, from the car breaking down, to the death of their grandfather, to the older brother realizing he is colorblind and breaks his vow of silence.
The viewer is put through a variety of emotions while watching this film, from anger and sadness to joy. Victoria Kocher, a student at Alvernia University says “I think the father was the most angering part of the film, he does not realize that the way he speaks to his young daughter can be seen as borderline abusive.” The father is set on success and allows no losers in his family, and he is seen saying less than supportive things to his young daughter, such as when he tells her that models do not eat icecream. Tori Foster, a student at Alvernia University says “I think the movie was hilarious most of the time, and I think many families can carry away a lesson from this family’s antics.” The family does do a few questionable things in the movie, such as when they had snuck their dead grandfather away from the hospital and put him in their car so they could continue on to California.
All in all, this movie carries many lessons for today’s families. The family starts off disliking each other and carrying contempt for one another and the struggles they face. However, when they had decided to band together as a family to get the little girl to California, they had come together as a family with a mutual love and support for the youngest in the family. Everyone in the family had had their dreams broken at one point during the film. Lyndsey Watterson, a student at Alvernia University says “I believe that the family had stood behind Olive to support her in her dreams because theirs had been broken, and they did not want that t happen to her.” So if you are arguing over which movie to watch and your family wants action, love, comedy, and suspense, I would highly recommend watching Little Miss Sunshine.