BY GENE SEYMOUR
Newsday Staff Writer
July 26, 2006
Richard Hoover (Greg Kinnear) is a motivational speaker who, like too many of his fellow Americans, believes that people come in only two categories: winners and losers. If you suspect this is the kind of single-mindedness that marks the consummate loser, you would be correct. Richard’s nine-step program to success, “Refuse to Lose,” is so cheesy that he can’t find anyone to swallow it.
Richard is a patriarch of thwarted dreamers in “Little Miss Sunshine,” the cunning little comedy that won many hearts at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. His wife, Sheryl (Toni Collette), checks her skepticism toward Richard’s life plan at the dinner table of pre-fab foodstuffs. Teenage son Dwayne (Paul Dano) has pledged complete allegiance to Nietzsche’s philosophy, assuming a sullen vow of silence until he can escape the family’s Albuquerque manse to fly high-performance aircraft.
‘Little Miss Sunshine’ Trailer (Fox Searchlight Pictures)