Parent reviews for Little Miss Sunshine

Common Sense says

Ride along to dysfunction in quirky indie comedy.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 77 reviews
Adult Written byhockey mommy April 9, 2008

Didn't like this one...

I watched this movie with an open mind, but really didn't enjoy it at all. I realize that not all movies have to have a message, but this movie wasn't funny either. A dysfunctional family (to say the least) travels across the country to have their daughter participate in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. The family was very concerned to get their daughter to the pageant on time, but only the drug addicted grandfather took the time to prepare her -- of course, a recipe for disaster. The daughter was embarassed at the end, which was "solved" in the movie by the family making complete idiots of themselves. I found no value in the movie at all -- not entertaining and a total waste of time.
Adult Written byfr0stedshad0w April 9, 2008

Amazing movie!

This was an amazing movie, but it has too much swearing, drug references and talk about sex and suicide for kids under 17.
Adult Written byc_b_sandiego April 9, 2008
Adult Written bywonder dove September 11, 2012

Hilarious fun for the older crowd!

One of my favorite "feel good" movies! Loved this one ever since it first came out. Little Olive wants to be in the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant and gets an accepted phone call to travel all the way to California to attend. But her parents struggle to find the finances to do so, but nothing stops their chances of making Olive happy. Lots of hilarious situations happen along the way when Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Older Brother & Olive take a road trip in their hilarious little yellow van. I wouldn't recommend a younger audience than 15, there are some uncomfortable "sex talks" by the Grandpa to a young teen, porn mags (front cover shown), talks about being Gay, suicide. Also lots of strong language, drug references (heroin) and the death of a loved one. Overall, a fun flick for mature teens, and adults will love it too!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 2 year old Written byimw1984 January 26, 2010

Amusing, but parental guidance needed for younger kids

IFFY 0+, ON 11+ or so. My son has seen it a few times, and didn't seem to mind it at all. That said, I wouldn't let kids watch it alone until they're 11yo or so. Several things might bring up questions that would be good to discuss. Teens however have probably already been exposed to all the things parents might object to in this movie, and would probably find this movie rather tame.
Adult Written bychubb April 9, 2008
Adult Written bywhateverfloats September 14, 2009

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Positive Messages
Adult Written byHipnerd63 April 9, 2008

Tender and Quirky

After seeing this film myself, I decided to let my 12 year old son see it. He watched it several times and has initiated discussion about it with me. Discussions about Olive's sweetness and innocence. About how very much the grandfather loved Olive in spite of his drug use and bad language. No other reviewr has mentioned the soundtrack, but it is exceptional and softens the film even more. The striptease, I must add, is done with such innocence and charm. Olive is entirely unaware of the significance of the music or the moves. She's just out there doing the dance that her grandfather worked up. Pudgy, average-looking Olive shows more self-confidence and strength than all the other "beauty" pageant girls. It is a DELIGHTFUL movie!
Parent of a 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 16 year old Written bycabbe June 20, 2009

Great comedy!!!

i found this a great family movie. i watched this with my oldest child and found no problems. there was some language but the f word was only used a few times.

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Adult Written byforce23 April 9, 2008

If you can get by the language, you'll love it.

Despite what some have written about this movie, I loved it, and so has everyone I've talked to. The boy (Dwanye) and girl (Olive) steal the movie from some very competant actors. You really care for these people throughout the film. Grampa (Alan Arkin) is a heroin addicted, sex crazed, nut, but his love for Olive and the others comes forth by the end of the film. The father battles his own failings all the while preaching his positive thinking program. The ending is a bit on the far fetched side, especially the "talent" competition at the "Little Miss Sunshine" pagent, but thankfully it's over fairly quick. This is a can't miss movie.
Adult Written byMissMovieLuver88 April 9, 2008

Brilliant road-movie

Even thought this film was incredibly short and ended very quickly, it cramed in an awful lot of comparisons with American Beauty and themes withing the film. I enjoyed this a lot. Firstly, the interaction between each family member seemed very familar to me and the take on American family life was particularly interesting. To me, at times it was showing a unique portryal of life as we might not have seen it. The performances of Greg Kinnera, Toni Collette, Steve Carrel and little Abigail Breslin where all amazing and really made the film what it is. Using the beauty pagent, one of America's favourite past-times and almost taking the mickey out of it made it useful for european audiences and certainly this is not done in the usual Hollywood film. It shows that the pagent is a farce and not every American agrees with it, as seen in the movie with all the characters. Overall, a brilliant comedy whch is certainly worth the watch. You'll certainly empathise with a lot of the characters and perhaps the family as a whole. I think this wil get some oscar nominations in January
Adult Written bywhat i thought... April 9, 2008

by far the best real "comedy" of the year...

this movie was excellent. yes, i thought the drug/violence/sex content was a bit much but it made you really see who this family was and how they really lived and interacted with each other. i thought that the deeper meaning to this movie was great. what i got from the movie was that life is not ment to be a "beauty contest" and that no one is perfect. i almost was discusted at how "perfect" the little miss sunshine competitors appeared. it seemed very surreal to me and that olive's life was much better lived than theirs. the people at the beauty contest were stuck up and took beauty in life too seriously. i really liked this movie a lot and it really shows the more "disfunctional" way of life rather than the "perfect" ways. it almost makes the "perfect" life seem pointless. well, even if you disagree with what i had to say, if you didn't see the movie, you really should think about seeing it.
Adult Written byjustbnme April 9, 2008

I dont get it

I really cant understand how this movie got such good reviews, I hated it from beginning to end. The only good spot in the movie was when the grandfather died, I was thinking if this could only happen to the rest of the family it would at least have a happy ending for me. One of the worst movies I have ever suffered through.
Adult Written byestee April 9, 2008

Complex, darkly funny, satisfying movie

Little Miss Sunshine is a send-up and a celebration of family life. There's Mom just barely holding things together, Dad being an unacknowledged failure, a comic grandpa, a sweet little girl, a taciturn brother and an "odd" (to say the least) uncle. We've seen it all before...but this movie is at its best showing us why we all find these formulas so compelling in the first place - while turning the formula on its head. It includes great comic performances, difficult situations and an overall spirit of "we're all in this together, no matter how messed up things are". If you can't laugh at the difficult and absurd situations life throws at you, all you can do is cry. And it's better to laugh! So see this movie - and laugh!!
Adult Written byNolan S. January 10, 2017

Great family choice for all teens+ to discuss meaning and morales behind the film.

Outstanding drama-comedy about an extremely relatable lower-middle class dysfunctional family, showcasing the effect's each characters struggles' has on the family dynamic. The solid satisfying story includes uniquely produced yet relatable family dynamic humor. Starring, Steve Carell as Frank, uncle/brother; Toni Collette as Sheryl, mom/sister; Greg Kinnear as Richard, dad/brother-in-law; Paul Dano as teen-son Dwayne; Abigail Breslin as Olive, school-aged daughter; and Alan Arkin as Edwin, grandpa/Richard's dad. The main plot centers around the road trip adventure - in a broken down van - the family goes on, heading to a children beauty pageant for Olive. The individual struggles include; Frank's recent suicide-attempt sparked from a lost love and adjusting to being in his sister's family's care; Sheryl's efforts in maintaining a positive family cohort and marriage; Richard's struggling motivational business and strained relationships with family-members; Dwayne's strained relationship with family member's and unforeseen setback regarding his passion; Olive being approached with more mature life topics and this affecting her self-confidence; and Edwin's drug use and clashing with his son about his looser lifestyle vs Richard's uptight. The climax of the story is when a family-member dies, which ultimately brings the family closer and helps them with their personal struggles. Great movie to watch with teens to discuss real life topics and a familys dynamic adventure. The things to look out for include; referenced -but not seen- suicide attempt and self physical harm, moderate drug usage-but with reprucusions, strong language-mainly a scene where the grandpa repetitively tells Dwayne he should f--- a lot of girls while he is young. This and the cover of porn magazines being shown are the extent of any sexual talk. Also, Richard picks on Frank about his sexuality without Richards comments ever being addressed.

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Positive Messages
Parent of a 15 year old Written bygeneric name mom July 31, 2013

Sick and Twisted - do not watch this movie

This is an awful awful movie that no child should ever be subjected to. I am totally shocked that it is in a recommendation area of this site and I am questioning their integrity to have included this movie to ANYONE. Sleazy pornography obsessed pedophiliac relatives and a heartwrenching treatment of human beings from smallest to oldest. It made me sick, and made me sad for our culture and society that this movie even got made. Please Please do not show this to your children of ANY age. SICK and TWISTED. Not kidding here, I am a staunch advocate of free speech but a big proponent of keeping our kids away from the seedy side of life at all costs.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byMaryMay April 22, 2011

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent Written bymommygirl987654321 February 12, 2010

Dark comedy domination

This movie was very good! I watched with my older kids and we all loved it! While the morals arn't good from any character-including Olive,mainly by naivety- the family all throughly loves each other(despite an earlier line"I hate EVERYONE"). Nothing my kids don't allready know about.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Parent Written byJill Murphy April 9, 2008

Loved it!

I don't think teens under 14-15 would even enjoy this flick, so not much to worry about there. I LOVED this movie and while the social behavior (stealing a body, suicide attempt) is zany or serious, the message and family dynamic is a great lesson for all families. I loved it! It's a great story of family support, being yourself, and accepting who you are.
Adult Written bystuartappraisal April 9, 2008

I vomited

This movie is like a haggis. It is something that many people have heard about, talked about and perhaps even tasted. But how many houses do you go in to and find haggis in the refrigerator. If you like oatmeal boiled in a sheeps stomach then you will like this movie. This is not an original's a bad knock off of National Lampoons Summer Vacation! Suitable for adults with the maturity of most 10 year olds.