Parents' Guide to

Little Miss Sunshine

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Ride along to dysfunction in quirky indie comedy.

Movie R 2006 101 minutes
Little Miss Sunshine Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 12+

Beautifully important and touching, perfect for young teens

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) follows a dysfunctional family on a road trip. The film follows many mature themes and story points to craft a film about imperfection, failure and above all else, family. The mature content including some sexual content, drugs, swearing and homosexuality along with references to a suicide attempt are all presented in an important and serious manner. VIOLENCE: NONE It is often referenced that a main character attempted to kill himself. He is highly depressed and has bandages on his wrists. This isn’t explained in detail, and isn’t lingered on long although the story focuses in on it at times. An elderly man overdoses on heroin early in the film offscreen. His body is shown under a tarp on multiple occasions as his family takes his body from the hospital and puts it in the trunk of their car. The body isn’t shown and this isn’t disturbing or comical. Some reckless driving late in the film. LANGUAGE: MODERATE 27 uses of “f*ck” (some used sexually), use of “sh*t”, “b*tch”, “h*ll”, “godd*mn” and “ass” SEXUAL CONTENT: MODERATE In a car, a man tells a teenage boy to “f*ck a lot of women, not just one” several times and to “get that young stuff”, he also says he made the mistake of not doing that when he was younger, some other sexual things are said, but nothing more graphic than that. A man buys 3 pornographic magazines, on the front we see images of women in bikinis with large breasts, women covering their nipples with their hands, etc. and later on in the film we see the magazines again, this time we very briefly see an image of a man and a woman having sex, he is shown in-between her legs but the shot is not explicit and shows no nudity. We also see a picture of a man in a bathing suit in a gay magazine. We see young girls in clad outfits at a beauty pageant, in one scene a young girl strips down to her dance outfit and shakes her butt/does sexual dances however this is made to be funny, as her grandpa taught her this and it isn’t inherently sexual. Some other milder references, nothing too severe. DRUG CONTENT: MILD A man is shown snorting white powder in one scene, this is later revealed to be heroin which he overdoses on offscreen. We also see him preparing to snort it later on, but we don’t see it, instead we hear of his death. At the beginning, after the man snorts the powder, he is shown yelling and swearing implying he is high. Brief drug use that only appears in one scene at the start.
age 10+


A beautiful movie, talking about difficult subject with comedy; it portrays suicide, body image, family trouble and so on. If you kid is sensitive, you might want to skip. But it sure is a nice moment in family and when you're done watching it, you kinda feel... different.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21 ):
Kids say (61 ):

This is a delightful film with a funny, tight script. It's true that the family road trip comedy isn't exactly a new genre; nor are quirky indie movies about dysfunctional families all that hard to come by. But somehow LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE manages to combine the two into something fresh, engaging, and often hilarious -- with a dash of "aw shucks" poignancy to boot. There's nothing radically new in terms of storytelling or character development, but the film nonetheless succeeds, thanks in part to its excellent cast (husband-and-wife directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris lucked out, casting Carell just before he hit it really big with The 40-Year-Old Virgin). There aren't any wasted moments in this movie; even the smallest action -- Frank buying the dirty magazines, for example -- turns out to matter down the line.

And then there's the finale. Ever since Little Miss Sunshine premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival (and was purchased for a record $10.5 million), the big beauty pageant finish has been making audiences laugh until they cry -- which is pretty much how the Hoovers seem to approach life in general, so it all works out in the end.

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