i adored olive (the little girl, abigail breslin) from the start of the movie...she's very cute and has a little paunch...and in a lot of ways she is aware and sensitive. i think she is a brilliant actress..the only other movie i have seen her in is - definitely, maybe.
so this is supposed to be the average dysfunctional american family with its quirks and failings but with exception of olive, full of life, curious and jumpy..she is all but 7. olive gets to know that she has a shot at little miss sunshine beauty pageant and as a result convinces her family to drag themselves over 800 miles in their old Volkswagen. the journey is interesting from the start..we get to know more about the granddad aka the heroine addict..the gay scholar for an uncle of olive..dwayne olive's older brother who has taken a vow of silence as a follower of Nietzsche till he gets to his aim (why didn't i think of this myself when i was reading his works..i found the idea splendid..a must try for all 16 year olds if only for kicks and i so not serious about i just said..so don't quote me)..the father is a complete loser (the self help technique dishing sort of guy)..the mother a chain smoker!
so the journey unfolds with the audience getting to know a little bit more about each one of them...with a rather blase yet warm undertone to it all. there is this particular scene in the movie during the journey which is repeated a couple times...the old VW breaks down in the middle and as result they have to push the car to get it to start and hop on while the VW is rolling..to me this scene was a very apt analogy of the whole idea..expectation.. want of being in any relationship (too strong a statement?)
so cutting to the very end, olive is on the podium with her pageant performance and what happens is hilarious and beautiful...its a happy ending (no she doesn't win!)
a must watch if you haven't done so already..and if you have..maybe a second run
p.s: i must add that the soundtrack compliments the movie (something which i think can make or leave you with a feeling of something amiss on watching a movie)..the track that olive is coached on by her granddad is Superfreak (Roca Sound Remix) by Rick James and it sure is raunchy :)