Looking for yet another Rom-com to cheer you up, where you know exactly how it will end...? Apply elsewhere! This is a movie that takes its good time in getting to the feel-good part, but does so with such a compellingly dysfunctional family of characters that you'll feel enriched for staying on board to the end.
The stalls are set out from the get go, when we meet each of the principal characters of the family, as different as could be. When the young daughter has a chance to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant (scary that such events exist), they all up and leave en masse in the yellow VW minivan for a memorable road trip. The worldly and outspoken grandpa, the suicidal brother, the relatively normal mother trying to keep the family on track, the father obsessed with success but unable to grasp it himself, the rebelling teenager in a vow of silence.. all are thrown into close proximity for the journey to California. Add a seriously temperamental VW minibus, and the stage is set for some soul searching, reality checks, pathos and humour.
As a comedy, this is certainly no exercise in hilarity or slapstick.... but it will leave you smiling, and it WILL leave you talking about it after the DVD is back in the case.. what better compliment could there be.