Sundance Strikes Again

by cnw
August 6, 2006 12:42 PM
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Judging by the general critical consensus and rapturous applause of a nearly full house at a BAM screening Saturday night, you would think that there would be something amusing, insightful, or remotely likable about Little Miss Sunshine, the latest bit of fecal matter to get dumped into theaters via the Sundance film festival. Having already wasted nearly two hours of my life on this one -- time I could easily have spent re-watching National Lampoon's Vacation, a film with way more laughs and a warmer and more sophisticated approach to family--I'm not inclined to perform thorough exegesis. Suffice it to say that this is the sort of film wherein a suicidal gay Proust scholar is actually the least hateful character and a grotesque child beauty pageant is played for cheap laughs. Preposterous, mean-spirited, glib, and vaguely offensive, Little Miss Sunshine is more extended sitcom episode than film --it's all quirks, gags, and set-pieces. And it ends up being less a look at the way that real American families interact than an exercise in self-satisfied condescension for the arthouse crowd.

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  • Dan | August 8, 2006 5:32 AMReply

    Well I can't say I'm surprised that someone here would post a big anti-LMS post here. But I can't help but agree completely.

    Was it bad? No. Was it bad compared with the hype? Absolutely. It's not that it's completely horrible. It's that it's being hailed as the second coming just because there's nothing else out there. Makes me shed a tear for the state of current cinema.

  • Sujewa Ekanayake | August 8, 2006 3:00 AMReply

    re: KL's: "anyone who likes it becomes immediately suspect."

    cool. i still like LMS. maybe i'll see it again, for the second time. some films are for the professional film watching few, while many movies are for the regular audience - a much larger group. the professionals - the critics -seem to be largely harmless (or maybe powerless is the right term) - if they don't like a movie the movie can stll do really good business. if they like a movie, that can be used to generate good business for a flick. either way, audiences & filmmakers/distributors win.
    wait, what were we talking about again? :)

    - sujewa

  • The Sujewa | August 7, 2006 10:56 AMReply

    I liked LMS. Definitely one of the best Hollywood comedies so far this year. Hmm, second best I guess, Clerks II has to be the best H-wood comedy so far this year. Puffy Chair is the best Indiewood comedy-drama this year, so far.

    Really, you actually hated Lil Miss that much? Hard to believe. Interesting.

    - Sujewa

  • Karina Longworth | August 7, 2006 4:47 AMReply

    CNW, I couldn't agree more. Sitting through this at Sundance was torture -- so garish, so unfunny, so badly miscalculated. It's become my new barometer of taste -- anyone who likes it becomes immediately suspect.

  • Brian | August 7, 2006 4:21 AMReply

    I liked LMS as well. While I usually don't go for "quirky" films, I found this one to be full of a lot of heart.

    Is it how "real American families interact"? Well, it's not how my family interacts. But you can bet that there are people out there just as weird and f-ed up and lost as these people are.

    I would say that there are a lot worse films out there right now... so I'm surprised that you hated this one so much.