On Saturday night, I went with a friend to see a new indie flick called Little Miss Sunshine, which seems to have generated some buzz at Sundance this year. Well, I guess everybody had heard the buzz, because when I got to the theatre at Stonestown mall on Saturday night to see the movie, it had sold out, and a long line of hipsters were just turning away in dejection. So my friend and I hurtled across town on 280 to try to catch the next show at the Metreon, which was also sold out. So we shot some pool at Jillian’s (that’s another story: billiard hall, restaurant, and night club all in one!) until the NEXT show.
And we saw what all the fuss was about.
The premise is that the 11-year old daughter in a (very) dysfunctional Arizona family has been named a finalist in a national pageant called Little Miss Sunshine. So the family : mom, pop, a heroin snorting grandad, a recently suicidal uncle, and the brother pile into the VW bus to drive from Arizona to Redondo Beach, where the pageant is to be held. The script is savagely funny, in a way that is a little reminiscent of Howard Korder’s plays, which we sometimes work on in the class. There is some first-rate acting as well. The story is not without some flaws and misfires, but the piece as a whole has great heart and inventiveness, and an anarchic streak a mile wide. My vote: not to be missed!