Friday night we decided to keep things low-key with dinner and a movie. Little Miss Sunshine has been getting good press and features several of our favorite actors. The premise is sort of high-concept: the semi-loser dad (Greg Kinnear), his frazzled wife (Toni Collette), the crazy grandfather (Alan Arkin), and the troubled brother (Steve Carrell) take off across the Southwest in their dilapidated VW bus to take their sunny-natured daughter to participate in a beauty pageant in California. Various scenes of hilarious dysfunction ensue, but these actors transcend the predictability of the formula and managed to make me both laugh and care about what happened to them. Steve Carrell and Alan Arkin were particularly great–as a suicidal, disgraced professor and junkie, respectively, they managed to be the sanest characters in the film, aside from the adorable 10-year-old Abigail Breslin, as Olive. Her final scene alone is worth the price of admission. Go catch it if you can.

Advertisements