If you haven’t watched this movie, you have no idea what you are missing.
The plot is rather simple: a father who is a failure at motivational speaking discovers that his daughter believes she has a great shot at winning the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Because of circumstances you’ll discover in the movie, the father, his wife, his wife’s brother (who recently attempted suicide, played by a surprisingly low-key Steve Carrel), his father (a drug user, but lovable nonetheless), his wife’s son (who has taken a vow of silence), and their young daughter load up in an old, decrepit van and make their way across the country, all in the hopes that they’ll be taking home the title of Little Miss Sunshine.
Of course, the family interaction is the heart of this movie, especially because we have several very complicated characters who only grow in their complexity as the movie progresses. Sometimes this movie is gut-busting funny, sometimes it is heartbreaking, and that is what I love so much about it.
Again, I cannot recommend Little Miss Sunshine highly enough.