I Heartily Concur

When Little Miss Sunshine first came out, I wanted to see it. I had plans to go see it at the Cedar-Lee, but they fell through. Rescheduling and trekking to the east side seemed like a hassle — Sorry, east siders! — so I figured I would just rent it.

The disc came from Netflix the other week, and I watched it. I was not impressed. I didn't like Napoleon Dynamite either, and for a similar reason: The main characters are so sad and pathetic that it seemed mean to pick on them. I couldn't explain it any better than that, though, and I certainly seemed to be in the minority, given the glowing reviews and award nominations.

Then I came across "Little Miss Can Be Wrong," which is not only a clever shout-out to one of my favorite Spin Doctors songs (I like "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" a lot, too) but also a well-written explanation by one Mr. Ken Jennings about why LMS isn't that great.

Now I was never a huge fan of, say, Chicago, or Gladiator, but if Little Miss Sunshine wins next month, it’ll be the most clueless Academy Best Picture pick since Forrest Gump in 1994. There’s not one solitary second of this formulaic road-trip crapfest that felt true or honest to me (much less perceptive or lovingly observed) in any way. Not for one moment did I believe any of it. The cast isn’t a family. They’re not even characters. They’re always just actors — and actors I like very much — bouncing around at the “but-wouldn’t-it-be-funny-if” whims of an endlessly quirk-plagued script. The big audience laughs — Grandpa’s doing heroin! Steve Carell’s buying gay porn! Greg Kinnear’s stealing a body! — are just the worst examples; every scene is full of contrived crap like this. The unbearably misconceived pageant finale, from the gag-ridden “we’re-gonna-make-it” car chase borrowed from a 1970s Disney movie all the way down to the queasy striptease, doesn’t work at all — in a way, it’s the apotheosis of clownish unbelievability the movie’s been promising all along.

Well said, sir; well said. I heartily concur.

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