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Sundance Strikes Again

Sundance Strikes Again

Judging by the general critical consensus and rapturous applause of a nearly full house at a BAM screening Saturday night, you would think that there would be something amusing, insightful, or remotely likable about Little Miss Sunshine, the latest bit of fecal matter to get dumped into theaters via the Sundance film festival. Having already wasted nearly two hours of my life on this one — time I could easily have spent re-watching National Lampoon’s Vacation, a film with way more laughs and a warmer and more sophisticated approach to family–I’m not inclined to perform thorough exegesis. Suffice it to say that this is the sort of film wherein a suicidal gay Proust scholar is actually the least hateful character and a grotesque child beauty pageant is played for cheap laughs. Preposterous, mean-spirited, glib, and vaguely offensive, Little Miss Sunshine is more extended sitcom episode than film –it’s all quirks, gags, and set-pieces. And it ends up being less a look at the way that real American families interact than an exercise in self-satisfied condescension for the arthouse crowd.

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