July 5, 2015
Analysis: Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine (Dayton and Faris, 2006) presents a modern day Cinderella story about an average little girl who wants to be a beauty queen. Pageantry has become a real popular trend during this time. The glamour and charm of pageantry has become as American as apple pie. These ideals have been built up from the underlying culture of American society. In this movie, the main character Olive is dealing with something a lot of women young and old are dealing with today… trying to be what society deems as beautiful. Since the 19th Century, beauty pageants have been held around the world that highlight the good looks and talents of their contestants. While there are some obvious positives that can be taken from these contests and the crowds that they attract, there are also some notable negative factors that should be considered as well. Are pageants being a good outlet for the individual’s growth or just a shallow event that that promotes the wrong values?
When Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) is introduced, she is watching old tapes of Miss America pageants and acting out the contestants’ reactions. From the beginning, it is clear that Olive wants to be a beauty queen because this is a dream created by the culture in the film. Olive isn’t “glamourous” like a Barbie Doll; she’s a pale, plump, average little girl with dreams of glamour and fame. Olive is introduced as an underdog, and as we know in a lot of movies that we have watched down through the years that it is not unusual for the underdog to win in the end. As the movie progresses, Olive is given the opportunity to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant which kicks off her underdog status.
Olive’s Dad Richard and her older brother Dwayne came to the realization that Olive was out of her league, but despite their arguments, her mother Sheryl says “We’ve gotta let Olive be Olive.”...