Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stare Into It and Go Blind: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

A Prose Poem Review




The treacle flows unbidden, across the honey-gold landscape of the Southwest. Wes Anderson's sleep is disrupted by an ironically primary-colored VW bus rolling over his grave, as the Griswold family bickers and pushes the clutch-blown heap of their American dream down a hill, working together without realizing what they do.

The lens of good-natured condescension inspects suburban melancholia, pathetic and laughable, built of brickabrack wood paneling, molded plastic Walkmans, vintage Mayor McCheese tumblers, though this pop culture detritus is a $20 prize to the flea market hunter.

Late in the day, after we have learned not to bother reading Rememberance of Things Past, for a designated scholar has summarized its mysteries, the Family of Man waves their Loser flag high. They dance artlessly, triumphant in their mediocrity on the grave of Nietzsche's Übermensch, wiggling defiantly to the thump and screech of Rick James' "Superfreak", the coked-out fuck anthem made newly defanged theme song for "America's Funniest People".

They will hit every note as hard as they can, directly on the nose. They cannot miss, for the targets are wide as a Volkswagen, and canary-bright, the piercing cries of their broken automobile horn filling the air.

Black comedy's frightmask melts away in warm, friendly glow; the similarities of our failure, bathos and self-pity are a comfort, and, dear little Miss Sunshine, we only namedrop those bogies of pornography, divorce, drug addiction, suicide and death itself to chase them away with a giggle. The hopes and dreams of all must have their brains dashed against the rocks, be those dreams shallow and grotesque, or scholarly and beautiful:

Rather than fly too near the blistering glory of the sun, better Icarus should not be Icarus at all.

Sunshine, stay at home, wrapped in your whimsical cocoon, fattened on ice cream with middle-class angst chips, until the day the chrysalis parts. Step out, spread your precious, precious wings, adjust your unnecessarily ugly glasses, having learned you need no one's approval but your own.

How you shall survive, I cannot say, for your caretakers and support network are incompetents,
And crazies,
And ogres.

On this protracted Eightfold Path, Step Nine, it seems, Sunshine, is not discovering that you are a Winner in your own special, private way that only your tribe can recognize. Nor is Step Nine an end to suffering by eradicating desire for such poisonous vanity trophies as pageant titles, Air Force Jets or financial independence.

Step Nine is that when all dreams are bankrupt or unattainable, we are Losers all.

When Little Miss Sunshine beams down on us, we all lose.

In Other News: They are now apparently issuing Oscar nominations to family situation comedy episodes. Good luck next year, "Full House"!

3 comments:

Jordan said...

yeah my friend didn't like it either.


-jordan

Anonymous said...

This is related to your previous post.

http://www.avclub.com/content/node/58153

Jordan said...

Hey Chris, my buddy James wanted me to pass this along to you -


Hi, Im Jordans friend.

I really didnt like it at all. Seems like you covered most of the main issues. I am mostly shocked that its become this BANNER film that people use to represent who they are. I dont know what they are responding to, it seems like nothing made any sense at all, and every single thing that the "characters" stood for are just superficial, and no one really cares about anything, and nothing really means anything or adds up to anything.
Condescension is a good word. How can so many people be charmed and delighted by it?
Isnt the message basically : "Hey man just be yourself, thats all you can do any way". If I was 4 years old that may have been useful to me, but even still its not a particularly profound or an even remotely interesting notion (isnt that a common cliche?)
Little miss sunshine is like a giant TURD, that for some reason every one wants to hug.
Ive already said too much. Back into the shadows.
thanks for caring.

-James