Little Miss Sunshine

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In Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’s film Little Miss Sunshine the story is based around the idea that having fun is better than winning. The character of Richard Hoover (Greg Kinnear) is developed when he goes from winning is everything to supporting his daughter while she has fun onstage. At the start of the film Richard’s character is introduced showing his strong ideas of winners and losers. When we first see his character he is giving a speech about his philosophy on the 9 steps to success, “There are two types of people in this world, winners and losers.” We know that this will be an important message throughout the film for Richard as this is how his character is first portrayed. It highlights the theme shown throughout the film of winners and losers, and we see the auditorium Richard is speaking to is almost empty which contradicts him as being a loser himself. This idea of Richard is presented stronger as he continues to always push his idea of what winning and losing should look like. He directs it at his daughter Olive and tells her, “There is no sense in entering a contest if you don’t think you’re going to win.” Also when the family is eating breakfast and Olive gets ice-cream, Richard puts her off eating it by telling her that ice-cream makes girls’ fat, “Those girls who win Miss America, are they fat or skinny?” This shows the audience how strongly Richard is set on his idea of what a winner is. Richard thinks that the only way of being a winner is to fit into the image of what a winner is supposed to look like. But he can’t see how much of a loser he is. The way he is influencing Olive makes his family not support him and really stretches his relationship with Sheryl to its limits. Richard is forced to experience the harsh realities of life. When his 9 steps seminar falls through and his relationship with Sheryl gets extremely strained. Richard says he’s “Gonna fix this.” He leaves his family and finds the man who made his 9 steps fail but gets...
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