The film shows that American ideology is reinforced in their film production. American production ideologies are anchored on glamour, wholesomeness and pageantry charm of Americans and movie characters. Notably, most movie audiences have consistently rooted for underdogs in different movies produced in America. These ideals fundamentally crown American culture. For example, Little Miss Sunshine movie demonstrates how American film production criticizes dominant American ideologies in regards to ideal family, success and assigned gender roles (Breslin and Greg n.p). Ideologies are assumed cultural norms that define how individuals see themselves and their interactions with others. An example is the scene to support the statement is where a little girl is glued to watch a Miss America pageant on TV and so we see American ideology in play based on the desire to be a beauty winner of a pageant.
Desire to win a beauty pageant is depicted by Olive, the main protagonist of the movie coming from a dysfunctional family. Actually, Olive wins the Little Miss Sunshine entry form that confirms her attendance as a contestant in the beauty pageant. In this film, Olive is a little girl with desire to succeed in winning the content. Her family is very supportive and wants her dream to be actualized in line with American ideologies and pride. However, they are so burdened with their own problems that they can barely make it through a day without experiencing a problem. The dysfunctional family realizes that there is need to change things in order to allow Olive attend and win the content. They are brought together in a camper van for a trip to California. The family consolidates all members to attend and on the way their car breaks down. Unfortunately Olive is forgotten at a gas station though they manage to get to the content on time, even though they are ready for any outcome even if it does not go their way.
Little Miss Sunshine is a film about dysfunctional American society where family members are unable to meet societal expectations. For instance, in an ideal society, a father should be the provider of a family and act as a good example as a masculine figure. However, this fails to materialize because the father in this family is largely unsuccessful with his career and therefore unable to meet expectations. On the same note, the son is a loser and the mother likewise, is unable to adequately fulfill her roles. The mother does not cook and instead gives the family packed food purchased from stores. Further, she fails to give motherly advice to Olive by supporting her pageantry dream while knowing that Olive is not up to the task. She qualifies to be called a bad mother.
The scene that spells out American culture and family structure is towards the end of the film where the family joins Olive on stage during this inappropriate performance. Luckily, the family unites and bonds together but fails to allow Olive mingle out with other contestants. In this movie scene, the family succeeds in upholding one ideal of a family; standing together as one. However, the plan fails as they are ridiculed by the rest of the public and their daughter is consequently kicked out of the pageantry.
Breslin, Abigail, and Greg Kinnear. Little Miss Sunshine. Dir. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie
Faris. 2006. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2008. DVD.
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