Little Miss Sunshine: Wikis


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Little Miss Sunshine
The movie poster shows the family feautered in the film chasing a Volkswagen Microbus. The title of the film is located above the vehicle. From left to right: the mother (wearing sunglasses, a white long-sleeve shirt, and pink pants) is in a running stance behind the vehicle, the son (wearing a yellow short-sleeve shirt and black pants) is pushing the vehicle, the uncle (wearing a pink short-sleeve shirt, a white long-sleeve shirt, white pants, and has a black beard) is in a running stance, the daughter (wearing a red headband, red shirt, blue shorts, and glasses) is near the open door of the vehicle, the grandfather (wearing a white t-shirt, a black vest, and gray pants) is seated in the vehicle reaching for the daughter, and the father (wearing a red t-shirt and sunglasses) is driving the vehicle and looking back at his family. The poster has an all-yellow background and, at the top, features the cast's names and reviews by critics. The bottom of the poster includes the film's credits, rating, and release date.
theatrical poster
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Produced by Marc Turtletaub
Peter Saraf
Albert Berger
Ron Yerxa
David T. Friendly
Written by Michael Arndt
Starring Greg Kinnear
Toni Collette
Abigail Breslin
Steve Carell
Paul Dano
Alan Arkin
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Editing by Spot Welders
Studio Big Beach Films
Bona Fide Productions
Deep River Productions
Third Gear Productions
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release date(s) Sundance:
January 20, 2006
United States:
July 26, 2006
United Kingdom:
September 8, 2006
October 6, 2006
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$8 million
Gross revenue $100,364,926 (worldwide)

Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama-adventure film, and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by first-time writer Michael Arndt. It stars Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, and Alan Arkin, and was produced by Big Beach Films on a budget of US$8 million.[1][2] The film is a road movie about a family's trip to a children's beauty pageant, with a large portion focusing on events related to the family vehicle, a Volkswagen T2 Microbus. Filming began on June 6, 2005 and took place over 30 days in Arizona and Southern California.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2006, and its distribution rights were bought by Fox Searchlight Pictures for one of the biggest deals made in the history of the festival.[3] The film had its limited release in the United States on July 26, 2006 and later expanded to a wider release starting on August 18, 2006.[1]

Little Miss Sunshine received critical acclaim, and had an international box office gross of $100.3 million. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won two: Best Original Screenplay for Michael Arndt and Best Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin. It also won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature, and received multiple other awards and nominations.



Sheryl Hoover (Toni Collette) is an overworked mother of two children, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her brother Frank (Steve Carell) is a homosexual scholar of French author Marcel Proust, temporarily living at home with the family after a suicide attempt. Her husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) has a Type A personality, and is striving to build a career as a motivational speaker and life coach. Dwayne (Paul Dano), Sheryl's son from a previous marriage, is a Nietzsche-reading troubled teenager who has taken a vow of silence until he can accomplish his dream of becoming a test pilot. Richard's foul-mouthed father Edwin (Alan Arkin), a World War II veteran recently evicted from a retirement home for snorting heroin, lives with the family; he is close with his seven-year-old granddaughter Olive (Abigail Breslin).

Olive learns she has qualified by default for the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty contest that is being held in Redondo Beach, California in two days. Her parents and Edwin, who has been coaching her, want to support her, and Frank and Dwayne cannot be left alone, so the whole family goes. Because they have little money, they go on an 800-mile (1,287-km) road trip in their yellow Volkswagen T2 Microbus.

Family tensions play out on the highway and at stops along the way, amidst the aging van's mechanical problems. When the van's clutch breaks early on, they learn that they must push it until it is moving at about 15 mph (24 km/h) before putting it into second gear, at which point they have to run up to the side door and jump in. Throughout the road trip, the family suffers numerous personal setbacks, revealing their need for each other's support. Richard loses an important contract that would have jump-started his motivational business. Frank encounters the ex-boyfriend who, in leaving him for an academic rival, had led to his suicide attempt. Edwin apparently dies from a heroin overdose; to avoid being delayed by post-mortem arrangements, they smuggle his body out of the hospital. A policeman stops the car due to a damaged and continuously honking horn, and nearly discovers Edwin's body in the back of the van. Dwayne discovers that he is color blind, and Frank tells him that he can never become a jet pilot with color blindness, which prompts Dwayne to break his silence and throw a tantrum. Throughout the ordeal, Sheryl attempts to keep everyone, including herself, calm and sane.

A yellow and white Vokswagen Type 2 vehicle, at center, is parked on a street. The roof of the vehicle is dirty, and on the sides of the picture, several other vehicles and buildings can be seen located on the street.
A Volkswagen T2 Microbus, similar to the one in the film

The climax takes place at the beauty pageant. After a frantic race against the clock, Olive is almost refused entrance for arriving at the hotel four minutes late. As she gets ready, the family observes her competition: slim, sexualized pre-teen girls with highly styled hair, wearing lipstick, adult-like swimsuits, and glamorous evening wear to perform highly elaborate dance routines with great panache. It quickly becomes apparent that Olive (plain, pale, slightly chubby, wearing large eyeglasses, and untrained in beauty pageant conventions) is out of her league.

As Olive's turn to perform in the talent portion of the pageant draws near, Richard and Dwayne recognize that Olive is certain to be humiliated and, wanting to spare her feelings, run to the dressing room to talk her out of performing. Sheryl, however, insists that they "let Olive be Olive", and Olive goes on stage. She joyfully performs the dance routine that her Grandpa Edwin had secretly choreographed for her: a burlesque performance to Rick James' song "Super Freak", innocently oblivious to the scandalized and horrified reaction of the audience and pageant judges. The pageant organizers are enraged and demand Sheryl and Richard remove Olive from the stage. Instead of removing her, one by one the members of the family join Olive on stage, dancing alongside her to show their support.

The family is next seen outside the hotel's security office where a police officer gives them their freedom in return for a promise never to enter a beauty pageant in the state of California again. Piling into the van with the horn still honking, they happily smash through the barrier of the hotel's toll booth and head back to their home in Albuquerque.




"You start off with all these people living their separate lives and the climax of the movie is them all jumping up onstage together. So the story is really about this family's starting separately and ending together."

—Michael Arndt, writer[4]

When choosing the cast for the film, directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris were assisted by casting directors Kim Davis and Justine Baddely who had worked with them on previous music videos.[5] The directors had initially settled on Greg Kinnear to portray Richard Hoover.[6] However, for the character of Sheryl Hoover, they considered several actresses before deciding on Australian actress Toni Collette.[6] Davis and Baddely traveled to "every English-speaking country"[5] to search for the actress to portray Olive Hoover, and they finally chose actress Abigail Breslin through an audition when she was six. Paul Dano was cast as Dwayne two years before production began and in preparation for portraying his character, spent a few days taking his own vow of silence.[6][7] Alan Arkin, who portrayed Edwin Hoover, was initially considered too young for the role.[6]

The role of Frank, the suicidal Proust scholar, was originally written for Bill Murray, and there was also studio pressure for Robin Williams.[8] The directing duo chose Steve Carell for the role a few months before filming began, and in an interview revealed: "When we met with Steve Carell, we didn't know he could do this based upon what he had done. But when we met with him and talked to him about the character, the tone of the movie and the way we were approaching it, he was right on the same page with us".[5][6] Although known to Comedy Central viewers for many years as a correspondent on the highly rated satirical news program The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, at the time Carell was cast for Little Miss Sunshine, he was relatively unknown in Hollywood.[7] Producers of the film were worried that he was not a big enough star and did not have much acting experience.[9] However, between the time the film was shot and its release a year later, Carell became a success as the star of the high-grossing film The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the leading character of the NBC television series The Office.

Script and development

Michael Arndt, facing away from the camera, is speaking to a crowd (not shown) from a podium in a bookstore. He is mimicking with his hands and is wearing a matching green hat and short-sleeve shirt. A sign on the podium states the location of the bookstore and a microphone is angled towards Arndt. In the background, several shelves of three rows of books can be seen.
Michael Arndt developed the rough draft of the script in three days and later sold the completed script to producers for $150,000.

The script was written by Michael Arndt and was originally about an East Coast road trip film from Maryland to Florida, but was shifted to a journey from New Mexico to California due to budget issues.[10] Arndt started the script on May 23, 2000 and completed the first rough draft by May 26.[11] He had initially planned on shooting the film himself by raising several thousand dollars and using a camcorder.[12] Instead, he gave the screenplay to producers Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger who teamed up with Deep River Productions to find a potential director.[13]

The producers met directors Dayton and Faris while producing Election and in turn gave the script to them to read in 2001. The directors commented later on the script stating: "This film really struck a chord. We felt like it was written for us."[8] The script was purchased from first-time screenwriter Arndt for $150,000 by Marc Turtletaub, one of the film's producers, on December 21, 2001.[8][11] Yerxa and Berger remained as producers as they were responsible for finding the directors and cinematographer, assisting in the ending re-shoot, and helping bring the film to the Sundance Film Festival.[6][14]

The film was pitched to several studios, and the only interested studio was Focus Features who wanted to film it in Canada.[8] After the studio attempted to have the film be more centered on the character Richard Hoover, and Arndt disagreed, he was fired and replaced by another writer.[4] The new writer added several scenes, including Richard's confrontation with the character who dismisses his motivational technique business.[15] A corporate change brought in a new studio head and Arndt was rehired when the new writer left after four weeks of rewriting the script.[16] After two years of pre-production, Focus Features dropped the film in August 2004. Marc Turtletaub paid $400,000 to Focus Features to buy back the rights to the film and for development costs.[8] He also paid for the $8 million budget, allowing Little Miss Sunshine to then be filmed.[17]


Principal photography began on June 6, 2005.[18] Filming took place over 30 days in Arizona and southern California, with scenes shot in keeping with the chronological order of the script.[5][7][14] Arndt re-wrote the ending to the film six weeks before the film's release at the Sundance Film Festival, and this was filmed in December 2005.[19] Post-production was completed four days before its screening on nine screens at the Sundance Film Festival, where it had its premiere.[6][20] The film was dedicated to Rebecca Annitto, the niece of producer Peter Saraf and an extra in scenes set in the diner and the convenience store, who was killed in a car accident on September 14, 2005.[21]

Volkswagen T2 Microbus

A film screenshot shows the family all seated in the Volkswagen Microbus as it is driven on a highway. The angle is from the windshield looking into the vehicle so that the majority of the interior can be seen. The mother is sitting in the front passenger seat with a dull expression on her face. The father is driving the vehicle with a smiliar expression. In the middle row, the daughter is looking down, listening to music from a CD player. Her uncle is seated on the right, looking to his left. In the back row, the grandfather is looking towards his grandson (who's face is slightly obscured by his father's head due to the angle). In the background, other vehicles can be seen driving on the highway.
Five modified vans were used during filming to capture various angles of the characters, including this one through the windshield.

When writing the script, Arndt chose the Volkswagen T2 Microbus to use for the road trip based on his experience with the vehicle and its practicality for filming: "I remember thinking, it's a road trip, what vehicle are you going to put them in? And [the] VW bus just seems logical, just because you have these high ceilings and these clean sight lines where you can put the camera. In the front windshield looking back and seeing everybody."[4] Five VW Microbuses were used for the family car as some were modified for different filming techniques.[22] Three of the vans had engines, and the two without were mounted on trailers.[22] During pre-production, the cinematographer used a basic video camera and set it up at angles inside the van to determine the best locations to shoot from during filming.[7] Many of the problems associated with the van that were included in the plot (a broken clutch, a stuck horn, and a detached door), were based on similar problems that writer Arndt experienced during a childhood trip that involved the same type of vehicle.[16][23][24]

While filming the scenes where the family pushes the van to get it started a stunt coordinator was used to ensure the safety of the actors.[6] In an interview, actor Greg Kinnear jokingly described how the scenes were filmed when he was driving: "I was going like 50 miles an hour in this '71 VW van that doesn't have side air bags. Basically you'd wait for this huge camera truck to come whizzing in front of us with the camera. 'Okay, go!' I mean, it was insanity; it's the most dangerous movie I've ever made."[25] While filming the scenes in the van, the actors would at times remain in the vehicle for three or four hours a day.[25] For scenes in which Alan Arkin's character was swearing excessively, Abigail had her headphones on and could not hear the dialogue, just like her character in the film. Only when she saw the film did she know what was being said.[25][26] On July 25, 2006 Fox Searchlight Pictures invited VW bus owners to a screening at Vineland Drive-In theater in Industry, California. Over sixty of the vans were present at the screening.[27]


A film screenshot showing five girls standing on stage at the pageant at the end of the film. From left to right, the first girl (wearing a one-piece swimsuit) has her left leg placed in front of her right, the second girl (wearing a two-piece swimsuit) has her legs shifted in the opposite direction, at center the main character (wearing a one-piece swimsuit) is standing straight, the fourth girl (wearing a one-piece swimsuit) has her left leg placed in front of her right, and the last girl (wearing a two-piece swimsuit) also has her left foot forward. All of the girls are smiling towards different angles. The background of the stage is decorated and it is reflected on the shiny surface of the stage.
To make Abigail Breslin's character (center) appear overweight, she wore a padded suit. Much of the equipment and costumes exhibited during the pageant were provided by actual contestants' parents.

Prior to writing the script, Arndt read in a newspaper about Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking to a group of high school students and saying "If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's losers. I despise them." As a result, Arndt developed his script lampooning the thought process: "And I thought there's something so wrong with that attitude ... I wanted to ... attack that idea that in life you're going up or you're going down ... So to a degree a child beauty pageant is the epitome of the ultimate stupid meaningless competition people put themselves through."[4] Co-director Jonathan Dayton also commented on the importance of the pageant to the film: "As far as the pageant goes, it was very important to us that the film not be about pageants. It's about being out of place, it's about not knowing where you're going to end up..."[6] All the girls acting as participants in the beauty pageant, except Abigail Breslin, were veterans of real beauty pageants. They looked the same and performed the same acts as they had in their real-life pageants.[28] To prepare for filming, the directors attended several pageants in Southern California and met with a coordinator to learn more about the pageant process.[29] A mother of a contestant in the film revealed that the film overplayed practices that the contestants go through: "Most pageants aren’t quite like that, with shaving the girls’ legs, spraying them with fake tans and putting on so much makeup."[29]

When Focus Features initially wanted to film in Canada, the directors opposed it, believing the costs of flying all of the pageant girls and their families would be excessive.[8] The contestants and their families instead spent two weeks filming in a hotel near Santa Monica with most of the equipment and costumes being provided by the contestants' parents.[29][30] To make Breslin's character the "plump" figure as shown in the film, she had to wear a padded suit during filming.[31] For Olive's final scene involving her dancing routine, Breslin spent two weeks preparing with a choreographer.[25]


Sundance Film Festival

Once the film premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2006, several studios bid on the film, and Fox Searchlight Pictures won, offering $10.5 million, plus ten percent of all the gross revenues.[8][32] The deal occurred less than a day after it premiered and was one of the biggest deals made in the history of the festival.[33][34] The previous year's festival had the film Hustle & Flow receive $9 million from Paramount Classics and in 1999, Happy, Texas received $10 million from Miramax Films.[34][35]

Box office

Little Miss Sunshine initially opened in seven theaters in the U.S. in its first week, earning $498,796.[36] On July 29, 2006, the first Saturday after its initial limited release, Little Miss Sunshine earned a $20,335 per-theater average gross.[37] It had the highest per-theater average gross of all the films shown in the United States every day for the first 21 days of its release, until being surpassed by the IMAX film Deep Sea 3D on August 15.[38] In its third week of release Little Miss Sunshine entered the list of top ten highest grossing American films for the week. It remained in the top ten until the 11th week of release, when it dropped to 11th place.[36] The highest position it reached was third, which occurred in its fifth week of release. The largest number of theaters the film appeared in was 1,602.[36] Internationally, the film earned over $5 million in Australia, $3 million in Germany, $4 million in Spain, and $6 million combined in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Malta.[39] Little Miss Sunshine has had gross receipts of $59,891,098 in the U.S. and $40,473,828 internationally for a total of $100,364,926.[1]

Critical reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 91% of critics gave the film a positive rating, based on 192 reviews, with an average score of 7.7/10.[40] At the website MetaCritic, which uses a normalized rating system, the film earned a favorable rating of 80/100 based on 36 reviews.[41]

Michael Medved gave Little Miss Sunshine four stars (out of four) saying that "... this startling and irresistible dark comedy counts as one of the very best films of the year ..." and that directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the movie itself, and actors Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, and Steve Carell deserved Oscar nominations.[42] Joel Siegel issued a rarely-awarded 'A' rating, saying that "Orson Welles would have to come back to life for this not to make my year-end Top 10 list."[43] Stella Papamichael of BBC News called the film "a winning blend of sophistication and silliness".[44] USA Today's Claudia Puig commented on Breslin's depiction of Olive Hoover, "If Olive had been played by any other little girl, she would not have affected us as mightily as it did."[45]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a 'C' rating, calling the characters "walking, talking catalogs of screenwriter index-card data."[46] Jim Ridley of The Village Voice called the movie a "rickety vehicle that travels mostly downhill" and a "Sundance clunker."[47] Liam Lacey of Globe and Mail criticized the film, stating "Though Little Miss Sunshine is consistently contrived in its characters' too-cute misery, the conclusion, which is genuinely outrageous and uplifting, is almost worth the hype."[48] Anna Nimouse of National Review wrote that the "film is praised as a 'feel-good' film, perhaps for moviegoers who like bamboo under their fingernails. If you are miserable, then Little Miss Sunshine is the film for you."[49]

Jim Emerson, editor for, reflected on the film's themes, writing "Little Miss Sunshine shows us a world in which there's a form, a brochure, a procedure, a job title, a diet, a step-by-step program, a career path, a prize, a retirement community, to quantify, sort, categorize and process every human emotion or desire. Nothing exists that cannot be compartmentalized or turned into a self-improvement mantra about 'winners and losers.'"[50] Brian Tallerico of also focused on the film's themes: "Little Miss Sunshine teaches us to embrace that middle ground, acknowledging that life may just be a beauty pageant, where we're often going to be outdone by someone prettier, smarter, or just plain luckier, but if we get up on that stage and be ourselves, everything will turn out fine."[51]

Home media

The DVD was released on December 19, 2006. It includes a dual-disc widescreen/full screen format, two commentary tracks, four alternate endings, and a music video by DeVotchKa. In its first week of release, DVD sales totaled $19,614,299 and it was the sixth-most sold DVD of the week.[52] As of September 16, 2008 gross domestic DVD sales totaled $55,516,832.[52] Rentals of the film from its release through April 15, 2007 totaled $46.32 million.[53]


Little Miss Sunshine was nominated for and won multiple awards from numerous film organizations and festivals. It was nominated for four Academy Awards and was awarded two at the 79th Academy Awards: Michael Arndt received "Best Original Screenplay" and Alan Arkin received "Best Supporting Actor".[54] In addition, the AFI Awards deemed it the "Movie of the Year", while the BAFTA Awards awarded it two awards out of six nominations with "Best Screenplay" for Arndt and "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" for Arkin.[55][56] The Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards,[57] Screen Actors Guild (SAG),[58] and Washington D.C. Area Film Critics[59] commended the film for its ensemble cast. Then 10-year-old Abigail Breslin was nominated for several Best Supporting Actress and Breakthrough Performance awards.

The Deauville Film Festival awarded the film the "Grand Special Prize" while the Palm Springs International Film Festival awarded it the "Chairman's Vanguard Award".[60][61] The Independent Spirit Awards awarded it four awards out of five nominations, including "Best Feature" and "Best Director".[62] The film's soundtrack was nominated for "Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media" at the Grammy Awards, but lost to Walk The Line.[63] The film also had multiple nominations at the MTV Movie Awards,[64] Satellite Awards,[65] Chicago Film Critics Association Awards,[66] and Golden Globe Awards,[67] among others.

Academy Awards producers controversy

There was some controversy concerning how many producers should receive an award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their work in producing the film. In 1999, the Academy decided that up to a maximum of three producers are eligible to be included in an award for a film.[68] The rule was implemented to prevent a large number of involved filmmakers to appear on stage when a film was receiving an award.[69] The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has not set a limit of producers that can be honored for a film.[70] In the case of Little Miss Sunshine, there were five producers (Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, and David Friendly) and the Academy did not want to include Berger and Yerxa. The two producers were responsible for finding the script, introducing the directors to the other producers, choosing the cinematographer, assisting in the re-shoot of the ending, and helping bring the film to the Sundance Film Festival.[6][14][71] The Academy acknowledged that the two were partners in the production process, but declared that only individual producers are recognized by the Academy. Deeming the two producers' work as a collective effort, the Academy refused to consider either Berger or Yerxa for the award.[68] Producer David Hoberman commented on the support for honoring all five producers, stating "If there are five people actually involved in producing a movie, there's no reason why someone who's made a good enough film to be nominated for an Academy Award should be precluded from being rewarded for the work they did."[68] Lynda Obst who was affiliated with an Academy Award producer committee, also commented: "By and large, five people don't make a movie. If this is an exception, then it's a sad situation. But you don't destroy a rule for an exception."[68]

At the Academy Awards, producers Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, and David Friendly were able to appear on stage to accept the award for Best Original Screenplay, while the PGA had previously honored all five of the producers.[72] Albert Berger, reacting to the Academy's decision while at a panel for the film, stated "No matter what the academy decided, we produced this movie."[14] In June 2007, the Academy announced that they would allow exceptions for films that had more than three producers in the future, stating "The committee has the right, in what it determines to be a rare and extraordinary circumstance, to name any additional qualified producer as a nominee."[72]


It was very important for us to find the right sound for this movie. We hoped that we could find it before we actually filmed the picture because that's how we worked for years and we've found that music informs our choices.

—Jonathan Dayton, director[5]


The score for Little Miss Sunshine was written by the Denver band DeVotchKa and composer Mychael Danna.[7] Performed by DeVotchKa, much of the music was adapted from their pre-existing songs, such as "How It Ends", which became "The Winner Is", "The Enemy Guns" and "You Love Me" from the album How It Ends, and "La Llorona" from Una Volta.

Directors Dayton and Faris were introduced to DeVotchKa's music after hearing the song "You Love Me" on Los Angeles' KCRW radio station.[73] The directors were so impressed with the music that they purchased iPods for cast members containing DeVotchKa albums.[74] Mychael Danna was brought in to help arrange the pre-existing material and collaborate with DeVotchKa on new material for the film. The Little Miss Sunshine score was not eligible for Academy Award consideration due to the percentage of material derived from already written DeVotchKa songs.[75] The DeVotchka song "Til the End of Time" received a nomination for a 2006 Satellite Award as "Best Original Song".[76] Both DeVotchKa and Danna received 2007 Grammy nominations for their work on the soundtrack.[74]


The soundtrack reached number 42 on the "Top Independent Albums" and 24 on "Top Soundtracks" in the U.S. for 2006.[77] It contains two songs by Sufjan Stevens ("No Man's Land" and "Chicago"), and songs by Tony Tisdale ("Catwalkin'") and Rick James ("Super Freak").[7][78] Two additional songs in the film that were written by Gordon Pogoda—"Let It Go" and "You've Got Me Dancing" (the latter of which he co-wrote with Barry Upton)—are featured during the pageant scenes near the end of the film.[79] "Super Freak", the source music danced to by Olive during the pageant competition, was introduced during post-production by a suggestion from the music supervisor.[80] Arndt's screenplay had called for Prince's song "Peach"; during filming, the ZZ Top song "Gimme All Your Lovin'" was used.[80]

Little Miss Sunshine: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack by various artists
Released July 11, 2006 (2006-07-11)
Length 46:31
Label Lakeshore S
Producer Mychael Danna
Professional reviews
Track # Title Performer Length
1 "The Winner Is" DeVotchKa 3:04
2 "Til the End of Time" 3:56
3 "You Love Me" 4:02
4 "First Push" 1:05
5 "No Man's Land" Sufjan Stevens 4:47
6 "Let's Go" DeVotchKa 3:21
7 "No One Gets Left Behind" 1:14
8 "Chicago" Sufjan Stevens 6:07
9 "We're Gonna Make It" DeVotchKa 2:32
10 "Do You Think There's a Heaven" 1:23
11 "Catwalkin'" Tony Tisdale 1:38
12 "Super Freak" (Rocasound Revamp) Rick James 4:13
13 "La Llorona" DeVotchKa 3:24
14 "How It Ends" 5:39


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  2. ^ Hornaday, Ann (2006-07-30). "From Shadows to "Sunshine"". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  3. ^ Duong, Senh (2006-01-21). "Sundance: Searchlight Spends Big For "Little Miss Sunshine"". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Little Miss Sunshine: The Shooting Script". 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
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  11. ^ a b Arndt, Michael (2007-02-06). Little Miss Sunshine: The Shooting Script. New York: Newmarket Press. p. x. ISBN 1557047707. 
  12. ^ Little Miss Sunshine-(Commentary by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, and Michael Arndt). [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. 2006-12-19. Event occurs at 11:33. 
  13. ^ Ortner, Sherry B. (2007-10-10). "Little Miss Sunshine Finds Its Way" (Registration required). Anthropology News 48 (October 2007): 22–23. doi:10.1525/an.2007.48.7.22. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  14. ^ a b c d Goldstein, Patrick (2007-02-20). "The unkindest cut". Los Angeles Times.,0,7118982.story?coll=cl-movies. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  15. ^ Little Miss Sunshine-(Commentary by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, and Michael Arndt). [DVD]. 20th Century Fox. 2006-12-19. Event occurs at 46:30. 
  16. ^ a b Guillén, Michael (2007-02-23). "Michael Arndt, Little Mr. Sunshine". SF360. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
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Further reading

  • Arndt, Michael. Little Miss Sunshine: The Shooting Script. Newmarket, 2007. ISBN 1557047707.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 Academy Award-winning dramatic comedy film about a dysfunctional family going to a childrens' beauty pageant for one of the children, Olive. Traveling together in a Volkswagen Type 2 mini-bus each of them discover certain aspects of their lives that they could not see beforehand and how to relate to one another.

This 2006 film was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. It was written by Michael Arndt.

A family on the verge of a breakdown taglines



  • Dwayne? That's your name, right?
  • Listen to me; don't make the same mistakes I made when I was young. Fuck a lotta women Dwayne, not just one woman, a lotta women.
  • You know how tired I am? If some girl came up to me and begged me to fuck her, I couldn't do it.
  • That young stuff is the best stuff in the whole world. See, right now you're jail bait, they're jail bait. It's perfect. I mean, you get eighteen, bam! You're talking about three to five.
  • So pull the truck over! You are not going to shut me up, fuck you! I can say what I want--I still got Nazi bullets in my ass!
  • Hey, Olive, I'll give you a million dollars if you turn around!
  • [to Dwayne] Don't show me the pad. I don't want to see the fucking pad.
  • Olive, Richard's an idiot. I like a woman with a little meat on her bones.
  • [to Frank] Get me some porn; get me something really nasty too; I don't want any of that airbrush shit. Get yourself a little treat too; get yourself a fag rag.
  • Richard, whatever happens, you tried to do something on your own, which is more than most people ever do. I include myself in that category. You took a big chance, it took guts, and I'm proud of you.
  • You're the world champion Growler.
  • Do you know what a loser is? A real loser is somebody who is so afraid of not winning they don't even try.
  • [walking in to find that Sheryl has bought fried chicken for dinner] What's that, chicken? Every night it's the fucking chicken! Holy God Almighty! Is it possible just once we could get something to eat for dinner around here that's not the goddamned fucking chicken?!


  • (Writes): Welcome to Hell
  • (Writes): Please don't kill yourself tonight.
  • (Writes): I hate everyone
  • (Writes): Where's Olive?
  • (Writes): Go Hug Mom. (when Sheryl is crying)
  • [after finding out that he is color blind and cannot fly planes] Fu-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-ck!!!! [his first words in the movie]
  • No, you're not my family! I don't wanna be your family. I hate you fucking people!! I hate you!! Divorce?! Bankrupt?! Suicide?!! You're fucking losers!! You're losers!
  • You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. School, then college, then work... Fuck that. And fuck the Air Force Academy. If I want to fly, I'll find a way to fly. You do what you love, and fuck the rest.


  • Is that Nietzsche? You don't speak because of Friedrich Nietzsche? Far out.
  • [reading notepad] "Where's Olive?"...
  • No one gets left behind! No one gets left behind! Outstanding soldier! [salutes Dwayne]: Outstanding!
  • [After Sheryl says she is glad that he is alive] Well that makes one of us.
  • [On several Little Miss Sunshine candidates walking out on Olive's performance] Prissy little fuckers, I will kill them.
  • I'm glad you're talking again, Dwayne. You're not nearly as stupid as you look.
  • Wow, Richard, you've really opened my eyes to what a loser I am. How much do I owe you for those pearls of wisdom?
  • [While pushing the bus] Have I mentioned that I am the preeminent Proust scholar in America?


  • There are two kinds of people in this world - winners and losers. Inside each and everyone of you, deep inside the core of your being is a winner waiting to be awakened and unleashed upon the world.
  • Don't apologize Olive. It's a sign of weakness.
  • Oh my God, I'm getting pulled over. Everyone, just... pretend to be normal.
  • Sweet sweetness
  • We were driving for six or seven hours... and we thought he was napping...
  • Sarcasm is the refuge of losers.


Before Trip

Sheryl: [after Frank tried to commit suicide] I'm so glad you're still here.
Frank: Well, that makes one of us.

[Dwayne fetches Frank for dinner and with sign language instructs him to come.]
Frank: Wait, dinner? What you don't talk anymore?
[Dwayne shakes head, agreeing.]
Frank: Why not?
[Rolls eyes.]
Frank: You can talk, but you choose not to.
[Dwayne points to painting of Nietzsche]
Frank: Is that Nietzsche? You don't speak because of Friedrich Nietzsche.
[Dwayne walks off unemotionally]
Frank: Far out.

Frank: Who do you hang out with? [long pause] No one?
Dwayne writes: I hate everyone.
Frank: What about your family?
[Dwayne underlines 'everyone'.]

Olive: Hi Uncle Frank!
Frank: Oh, hey Olive. Wow, you're getting big, almost like a real person.

Grandpa: Again with the fucking chicken.
Richard: Dad.
Grandpa: It's always with the god damn fucking chicken. Christ.
Richard: Whenever you are ready to cook your own food, you're more than welcome to it.
Grandpa: Well at Sunset Manor, ya know--
Richard: If you liked Sunset Manor so much, you shouldn't have gotten yourself kicked out of there, right?

Olive: Why did you try and kill yourself?
Frank: I tried to kill myself [over Richards demands not to listen to Frank], because I was very unhappy. [continues after being called a sick man by Richard]
Olive: Why were you unhappy?
Frank:There were a lot of reasons; mainly though I fell in love with someone who didn't love me back.
Olive: Who?
Frank: One of my grad students. I was very much in love with him.
Olive: Him? It was a boy? You fell in love with a boy?
Frank: Yes, I did. Very much so.
Olive: That's silly.
Frank: Yes you're right. It was very, very silly.
Grandpa: [under his breath] There's another word for it.
Olive: So that's when you tried to--?
Frank: Well, no, you see that was okay, except he went and fell in love with a colleague of mine; Larry Sugarman.
Sheryl: Who's Larry Sugarman?
Frank: He's the second highest regarded expert on Marcel Proust in the US.
Richard: Oh. Who's number 1?
Frank: That would be me, Richard.

Frank: Is he always like this? [speaking about Richards obsessiveness with winning]
[Dwayne nods head]
Frank: How can you stand it?

Olive: I practice everyday.
Frank: Well then good luck.
Richard: It's not about luck, Frank. Luck is the name Losers give to their own failings. It's about wanting to win.

Cindy: [Sheryl's sister on answering machine] The girl who won had to forfeit her crown. I don't know why, something about diet pills. But anyway, now she has a place in the state contest.

Sheryl: She can't go. They've got some equestrian thing.
Richard: Oh, they do that horse shit every weekend.

[after being persuaded to go on the trip, Dwayne writes]
Frank: [reading Dwayne's writing] "Ok, but I'm not going to have any fun." Yeah, well, we're all with you on that one, Dwayne.

Grandpa: I'm not driving.
Sheryl: Well Grandpa doesn't have to come.
Grandpa: What? I coached her. I gave her the moves.

Dwayne writes: Please Don't Kill Yourself Tonight
Frank: Not on your watch; I wouldn't do that to you.
Dwayne writes: Welcome to Hell
Frank: Thank you Dwayne. Coming from you, that means a lot. Goodnight.

Beginning of Trip

Grandpa: Can I give you some advice?
Dwayne: [shakes head "no"]
Grandpa: Well, I'm going to give it to you anyway. I don't want you making the same mistakes I made when I was young. Dwayne, that's your name, right? Dwayne? Listen to me, this is the voice of experience talking--are you listening? Fuck a lot of women, Dwayne.
Richard: Dad!
Grandpa: I got no reason to lie to you kid, fuck a lotta women. Not just one, a lot. So are you gettin' any? Is it going anywhere?
Dwayne: [shakes his head no]
Grandpa: No? Jesus! What are you? 15? You should be gettin' that young stuff! That young stuff is the best stuff in the world!

Sheryl: [to Frank] He started snorting heroin.
Frank: [to Grandpa] You started snorting heroin?
Grandpa: [in response to Frank, aimed at Dwayne] Let me tell ya, don't you go doing that stuff. When you're young, you're crazy to do that shit.
Frank: [to Grandpa] Well what about you?
Grandpa: [to Frank] What about me? I'm old! When you're old you're crazy not to do it.

Frank: I take it you didn't like it at Sunset Manor?
Sheryl: Frank--
Grandpa: Are you kidding me?! It was a fucking paradise. They got pool, they got golf; now I'm stuck with Mr. Happy here, sleeping on a fucking sofa. Look, I know you are a homo and all, but maybe you can appreciate this. You go to one of those places, there's four women for every guy. Can you imagine what that's like?
Frank: You must have been very busy.
Grandpa: Ho oh. I had second degree burns on my johnson, I kid you not.
Frank: Really?
Grandpa: Forget about it.
Olive: [takes off her headphones] What are you talking about?
Grandpa: Politics.
Olive: Oh. [Puts her headphones back on]
Grandpa: [To Dwayne] Fuck a lotta women, kid. I've got no reason to lie to you. Not just one woman. A lotta women.

Frank: Actually Olive, 'a la mode' in French translates literally as 'in the fashion.' A la mode [French accent]. 'Mode' is derived from latin 'modus' do or proper--
Richard: Frank, shut up. Olive can I tell you a little something about ice-cream?

Frank: No one gets left behind! No one gets left behind! Outstanding soldier! [saluting Dwayne]
Frank: Outstanding!

Richard: I feel sorry for you.
Frank: [Sarcastically] You do?
Richard: Sarcasm is the refuge of losers.
Frank: [Sarcastically] It is? Really?
Richard: Sarcasm is losers trying to bring winners down to their level and that's step four in the program.
Frank: [Sarcastically] Thank you for opening my eyes to what a loser I am! How much do I owe you for those pearls of wisdom?
Richard: Oh, that one's on the house!
Sheryl: Guys, stop it, stop it! (bickering between Richard and Frank)
Frank: He started it!

Sheryl: What happened?
Richard: I'll tell you when I regain consciousness.

Olive: Grandpa, am I pretty?
Grandpa: Olive, you are the most beautiful girl in the whole world.
Olive: You're just saying that.
Grandpa: No! I'm madly in love with you and it's not because of your brains or your personality. It's because you're beautiful, inside and out.

Olive: Mom? Dad?
Richard: [half asleep] What is it?
Olive: Grandpa won't wake up.

Olive: [going over eye test pamphlets] Mom, Dwayne's got 20/20 vision!
Sheryl: I bet he does.
Olive: Now, let's see if you're colorblind.
[Olive opens the pamphlet]
Olive: What's the letter in the circle?
[Dwayne looks confused]
Olive: The letter in the circle?
Frank: Can you see a letter, Dwayne?
Olive: It's an A. See? Right there?
Frank: It's bright green.
[Dwayne scribbles anxiously on his notepad - "What?"]
Frank: Dwayne, I think you might be colorblind.
[pause, Dwayne holds up his notepad again - "What?"]
Frank: You can't fly if you're colorblind.

Olive: Do you eat ice cream?
Miss California: Yes. My favorite is Cherry Chocolate Garcia, except technically I think it's a frozen yogurt.

Dwayne: I wish I could just sleep until I was eighteen and skip all of this, high school, everything.
Frank: Do you know who Marcel Proust is?
Dwayne: He's the guy you teach.
Frank: Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads. But he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he, uh, he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, Those were the best years of his life, 'cause they made him who he was. All those years he was happy? You know, total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18--Ah, think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean high school? High school-those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that. "

Pageant Assistant Pam: [Dwayne walks swiftly by] Are you authorized to be backstage?
Dwayne: [emotionless; without stopping] No.

Dwayne: Hey, where are the dressing rooms?
Contestant: Are you even allowed back here?
Dwayne: Just tell me where the dressing rooms are!

Olive: I'd like to dedicate this to my grandpa, who showed me these moves.
Pageant MC: Aww, that is so sweet.
[Audience applauds]
Pageant MC: Is he here? Where's your grandpa right now?
Olive: In the trunk of our car.

Pageant Official Jenkins: [outraged at Olive's talent act] What is your daughter doing?
Richard: She's kickin' ass, that's what she's doing.

Frank: Do you want to go back?
Dwayne: Not really. [long pause] Yeah, we should go back.

Sheryl: "We have to let Olive be Olive."

[once olive is done dancing] YEAH! ALRIGHT! [screemed out by the big tatooed audience member sitting next to richard]

Officer Martinez: Okay, you're out. On the condition that you never enter your daughter in a beauty pageant in the state of California, ever again... ever.
Frank: I think we can live with that.


  • Welcome to hell
  • Where's Olive?
  • A family on the verge of a breakdown
  • Everyone just pretend to be normal


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Little Miss Sunshine
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Produced by Marc Turtletaub
Peter Saraf
Albert Berger
Ron Yerxa
David T. Friendly
Written by Michael Arndt
Starring Greg Kinnear
Steve Carell
Toni Collette
Paul Dano
Abigail Breslin
Alan Arkin
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Editing by Spot Welders
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release date(s) Sundance:
January 20, Template:Fy
United States:
July 26, 2006
United Kingdom:
September 8, 2006
October 6, 2006
Running time 103 minutes
Country Template:FilmUS
The English Wikipedia also has a similar article with this name: Little Miss Sunshine.
Budget US$8 million
Gross revenue $100,364,926 (worldwide)

Little Miss Sunshine is an independent film that was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. It is about a family that drives 800 miles for the daughter to be in a beauty contest for girls. On the way they have many problems, and learn to assist and help each other.

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