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A family apart

Little Miss Sunshine is a movie about an atypical American family who travels from Nevada to California so that their young daughter can participate in a child beauty pageant called the Little Miss Sunshine contest. The family consists of a failing writer, a stay-at-home mom, a cocaine addicted grandfather, a son who by force of will doesn’t speak and the aforementioned daughter who is a precocious, warm hearted if not beauty pageant material.
For me, this movie is about families coming together. At the beginning of this movie, one see a dysfunctional American family, but by the end of the film, all the differences that separated the family have been reconciled and there is an understanding which has formed.

For my family, this reconciliation did not happen. Instead my parents separated when we were children, got back together, and continued to make everyone’s lives miserable until they finally divorced after five years. What is it that keeps a family like the one in Little Miss Sunshine together? My family is not close, my sister and I barely speak, my mother and father have not spoken once in the last five years. My family also did not have as many problems and none of its members were as eccentric as those in the movie. On the other hand, maybe it was because of this lack of conflict that my family fell apart. Everyone was doing what they thought would make the other members of the family happy and as a result made themselves miserable, building up years of repressed anger and disappointment until no one could take it any longer. Were my parents too afraid to be lonely? Is that why they stayed together? Neither of them are religious so it was not due to a societal restriction that they weren’t more daring in their relationship. It seems that for a relationship to stay alive that you have to push the limits of their relationship, much like the family in Little Miss Sunshine did. They chose to be themselves, not who they were in the past or who they think the other person wants them to be, and in the end they found that they loved each other for who they were. The saying “People change? has always scared me a little when it comes to relationships and it is for that that I am always a little skeptical about marriage. However, given an example like Little Miss Sunshine, even though it is a movie, one realizes the importance of honesty not only to the other person but to yourself.