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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 08/ 3/2006

Let the 'Sunshine' In

By Jen Chaney

Suicide attempts. Dead bodies. Beauty pageants featuring hundreds of little Jon-Benets. Teens taking vows of silence out of deference to Friedrich Nietzsche.

These ingredients don't exactly sound like the recipe for a typical, riotous summer comedy. But then few things about "Little Miss Sunshine" are typical.

If you want men behaving like boys, stick with "You, Me and Dupree" or "The Break-Up." But if you want a movie that wrings its laughs -- and yes, possibly a couple of tears -- from the daily struggles of real people, "Sunshine" is the summer flick you've been waiting for. Obviously, the misfits who make up the movie's dysfunctional family are not real. But the fantastic cast -- including Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, the sublime Alan Arkin and adorable Abigail Breslin -- makes them seem genuine, complicated and empathetic despite their obvious flaws.

I hesitate to say much else because I don't want to deprive moviegoers of discovering "Sunshine" surprises for themselves. So just trust me on this one and go. Soon, the phrase "He's in the trunk of our car" will set off seizures of laughter among your in-the-know friends.

By Jen Chaney  | August 3, 2006; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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I agree that this is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and that it's best to go in not knowing a damn thing about it. So don't read the review in today's Post until *after* you see the movie!

Posted by: mharvey816 | August 4, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The preview audience that I saw this movie with couldn't stop laughing (nor could I!) Finally, a summer comedy worth watching!

Posted by: MikeMatichich | August 4, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

We saw it in NYC on Wednesday and absolutely loved it. An absolute delight -- and one of the year's best.

Posted by: sprite | August 4, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Best quirky comedy I've seen since Napoleon Dynamite. Little Miss Sunshine had me crying tears of riotous laughter. I agree that going in without a clue as to the plot or characters made it even more spectacular and off-the-wall. Run do not walk to see this movie!

Posted by: clfost | August 8, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

fantastic movie, couldn't think of anyone i wouldn't recommend it to...

Posted by: little miss s. | August 8, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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