Saturday, September 02, 2006

how it's been a long, long, long, long, long time

since i laughed as much and as hard in a theater. so much so, that's it's worth the best review i'll ever write.

"little miss sunshine"
starring greg kinnear, toni collette, stave carell, alan arkin, paul dano and the amazing abigail breslin
directed by dayton/faris
written by michael arndt
viewed at the amc van ness 1000, san francisco

i was gonna start this review by saying it would be easier to list all the things that aren't perfect in this movie, but i really can't name any. so here's everything that's right with this film )and, by proxy, everything that's right with movies in general).

1. the casting is brilliant. everyone is precisely understated instead of arkin, whose character shouldn't be. and even so, arkin's ideal. and there's no way that you won't fall in love with abigail breslin,who pulls an absolutely breathtaking performance for someone so young. if you need just one reason to watch, she's it.

2. the directing is brilliant, but what else can you expect from the legendary team of jonathan dayton and valerie faris, who are responsible for a good share of the best ads and music videos from the past twenty years. this is not slapstick. slapstickhas been done to death. and it's uncomfortable, but so much more, so much deeper. to put it plainly, it just is. and what it is just couldn't be improved upon. perfect.

3. the writing was spot on magnificent. when you have a large ensemble cast, it's very easy to stereotype all the characters into certain roles, thereby making them caricatures of real people. these characters have quirks, but are as human as you and me. i can't tell you how rare that is in a comedy.

4. there's a bunch of moments in this film that i'll always have with me, from my heart warming with sweetness to my stomach splitting with laughter - and those scenes made me laugh almost as hard as i did during "there's something about mary". i said "almost'. but it's close.

do you want something imperfect? i wish it would never have ended.

then again, it was just long enough.

i can't wait to see it again. it's easily the best movie i've seen since "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind".

how about that?

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