Little Miss Sunshine – Essay
Little Miss Sunshine directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, is about a family whose cross country journey to the Little Miss Sunshine child beauty pageant teaches them, and the viewer, that real life is about relationships and that these are more important than simplistic notions of winning or losing. Richard Hoover is the character who most exemplifies this message as he eventually recognises that his family and life cannot be defined by his ‘Refuse to Lose’ motivational programme.
At the beginning of the movie we are shown an opening sequence introducing the main characters in the movie. We are briefly introduced to each character’s situation and the goals they are trying to achieve but we soon
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Stan is wearing an expensive business suit; he looks professional and successful, and has an audience that wants to listen to him. Richard on the other hand looks very ordinary; he’s wearing a simple t-short and shorts and looks weak and ridiculous standing next to Stan. Stan tells him that, “nobody’s heard of you, nobody cares”. Richard doesn’t understand why he can’t be successful and professional like Stan. As he is riding back to the motel a huge truck honks loudly at him, it’s like the truck is mocking him. Through this we see that Richard is very narrow-minded and cannot see that this motivational programme isn’t for him. He feels that since he came up with the 9 steps that he would be successful. He can’t seem to see beyond his problems and try doing something else. We see Richard’s turning point when he decides to steal Edwin’s body so that Olive can perform in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. We see that Richard has changed and we as an audience are surprised by his decision and we start to respect him more. Richard’s costuming has changed he is looking more respectable and not silly and ridiculous. Richard doesn’t want Olive to go through the same feelings he went through when he was rejected by Stan Grossman and he decides to do steal Edwin’s body for Olive’s sake. At this point we begin to sympathise with Richard rather than find him annoying. We see Richard and Sheryl getting closer, this shown when the