This is At the Buzzer’s countdown of the best 25 comedies of all-time. Our panel of 10 cast their votes, and we’re revealing the results one by one until we get to No. 1 on Tuesday, May 10.
And now, our number 4:
4) Little Miss Sunshine (3 votes, 234 points)
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.
Chris: In a lot of ways, Little Miss Sunshine is an outlier compared to most of the rest of our list. It’s a multiple Academy Award winner, a Sundance Film Festival darling and a big-time box office overachiever, turning an $8 million budget into triple figures internationally. It’s also very different tonally; while there are moments that are funny in the traditional sense, there are also stretches that you might only think are funny if you’ve been stuck in a similar malaise in your life.
Still, in the theater of the bizarre, Little Miss Sunshine reigns supreme. Some of my favorite moments are when the film decides it’s just going to be as ridiculous as possible, like when the family has to push the van to get it started and then jump in the side while it’s moving, or when Grandpa dies of an overdose and the family has to bring his body on the road trip with them. And then there’s the oft-referenced finale, where any semblance of sanity goes out the window and preteen girls are sexualized and breakout star Abigail Breslin dances to Super Freak and the whole family joins in.
Thanks to the stellar work of its ensemble cast, Little Miss Sunshine stands out as a movie that entertains in unexpected ways. Your mileage may vary on its more awkward and uncomfortable situations, but I was a fan.
Cary: I don’t think I was in the mood for Little Miss Sunshine when I saw it, because it didn’t register as typically “funny” to me. It was billed as being something uproarious, but it wasn’t. It was charming and sweet and silly and annoying at times. But its humor was dark and offputting. Dark comedies are hit or miss for me, and this one wasn’t worth a second showing.
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