This is a funny movie about a dysfunctional family that makes mine seem almost normal. It's essentially a road-trip movie that reminded me a lot of National Lampoon's Vacation in certain ways that it's probably best not to discuss; otherwise, I'd spoil some of the fun.
The trip ends not at Wally World but at the Little Miss Sunshine competition, an event as horrifying as anything I've seen in a movie in a long time. How Olive, the young girl in the family, ever got into such a competition in the first place is never explained. Oh, we know she won second prize in a previous competition, and that's not explained, either. I'd kind of like to know, given the way her Little Miss Sunshine bit goes.
A lot's not explained about the family, for that matter. It's more like they were assembled out of central casting and put together for the picture. Not that I cared. Every one of them is great. I especially liked Alan Arkin who talks a lot, and Paul Dano, who talks very little; but Toni Collette as the mother who tries to hold the crazy bunch together is fine, as is Greg Kinnear, the loser father who wants so much to be a winner. Steve Carell as the uncle is super. The real star of the picture, however, is Abigail Breslin, who deserves an Oscar nomination. She's just great.
Some of the scenes go on too long, especially the climactic one, but what the heck. I got a lot of laughs. Check it out.