That Devotchka song is still haunting me 11 years later, talk about a classic. The film is so moving and funny. Can't stop re-watching every time it comes on TV. I feel so bad for Dwayne. I feel his hurt.
Nothing exceptional here in terms of cinematography, which subscribes to the Hollywood canon from start to finish. The satire of a winner-takes-all America plays up the usual weird/loser characters (with the family turning Nietzsche's slave morality on its head), who become little 'overmen', able to endure (and grow through) their suffering of a sisyphean load inside a van that stands for a self-making community.
I can't precisely tell you why I think it's just an assemblage of tropes designed for the indie art crowd, but perhaps the scene where Dwayne, the follower of Nietzche, discovers he can't be a pilot was the deal-breaker for me. That, or Steve Carells' Proustian expert didn't ring true. It's as if they threw a lot of things at the wall to see what would stick. And of course there's the twee.
There are far too many obvious set-ups, so that when the payoffs come, our joy comes out of the knowledge that we predicted that such a thing would happen, rather than the revelation actually being very funny
In my opinion, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is a complete family drama. You can find comedy, tragedy, even a road movie in this movie. The storyline itself is pretty cliche or familiar to me. The interesting part is that director Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris was able to create a new take or perspective from that story. I really loved with its cast. They are perfect! Maybe I'll watch this movie again someday. I liked it!