Okay, so this is just my choice, and I have to admit I didn't see any of the other films, but this one is such a winner that I'm really rooting for it.
Made up of a spectacular cast, this heartwarming and hilarious film brings a dysfunctional family together on a 3 day road trip to a beauty pageant in a busted down VW.
Alan Arkin is hysterical as the pageant choreographing grandpa who just happens to be a cokehead. Steve Carell plays the suicidal, homosexual, unemployed Proust scholar who's b/f left him for his nemesis. Just looking at him makes me laugh. And who of us writers can't feel for Greg Kinnear's character who is obsessed with landing a book deal on his 9 step program for success. The scooter scene is hysterical, and I have to admit, I may have actually done the same thing at one point in my quest to be published. Although quiet most of the film, the angry teen played by Paul Dano, still brings a sweetness to his character through his occasionally caring notes. And what can you say about Toni Collette? She's totally fab in everything she does.
But the film wouldn't be anything if it weren't for 10 year old Abigail Beslin. I'm sure all the other women in the Best Supporting Actress category wouldn't be thrilled to lose to a 10 year old, but I think she deserves it just for the pageant routine scene. Abigail breathes such enthusiam into her character Olive. Even when faced with a room full of mini-models, overweight, four-eyed Olive doesn't back down but goes out and gives it her all in her grandpa's memory. Here's a pic of the adorable Abigail looking nothing like Olive.
I loved the ending when the family all stood up and cheered Olive on while everyone else sat horrified. Have you ever said something bad about a family member but then when someone else says the same thing your claws come out? It's okay for you to make fun or criticize your family, but not somebody else, right? This was how this scene felt to me and I loved seeing their loyalty to little Olive.
Okay, so now that I've completely ruined it for you, go rent it. What was your favorite movie of 2006?
All that matters is what's inside...as long as your outside is wearing the tiara!REVENGE OF THE HOMECOMING QUEEN, July 3,2007, Berkley Jam Books