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Comedy in Relation to King’s Essay

Little Miss Sunshine, the 2006 film that starred Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, and Abigail Breslin, and distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, delved on the events surrounding the Hoover family’s journey from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Redondo Beach, California, where Olive was among the top qualifiers for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest.

What was apparent in the film was its employment of realism in such a blatant manner that it caused to emphasize on a comedy that is founded on a tactless depiction of reality, effecting a situation wherein the manipulation of truth in a comedic manner becomes more realistic than if otherwise confronted in any other form, as explained in the principles detailed in Stephen King’s essay. What makes Little Miss Sunshine an exceptional comedy film is not in the delivery of humorous lines, in the presentation of hilarious situations involving the characters, nor by the employment of Hollywood superstars of the genre.

Rather, it is in the presentation of real life experiences that depicted a problematic situation, and where the characters reacted in a normal manner yet exhibited an unusual attitude, in relation to the entirety of a particular scene. This was evidenced in the scene wherein Olive was being interviewed on the beauty contest, and where after dedicating her performance to her grand father, she was asked by the host, “Is he here? Where’s your grandpa right now? ”, and she replied, “In the trunk of our car” (Little Miss Sunshine).

This scene is particularly relevant because the humor was exclusive to the audience, meaning, the presenter of the question was not aware of the blatant truth regarding Olive’s statement, making the audience aware of the innocence in Olive’s reply. Perhaps what made Little Miss Sunshine effective in presenting its humor can be referenced on King’s assumption regarding horror films, particularly on its effect in the human psyche, as he stated, “…like a sick joke, has a dirty job to do. It deliberately appeals to all that is worst in us. It is morbidity unchained, our most base instincts let free, our nastiest fantasies realized” (King 1).

It is then understandable why several scenes in Little Miss Sunshine were successful in conveying their intended humor despite of the gruesome depiction of events, such as with Edwin Hoover’s cadaver being sneaked out of the hospital premises to be eventually dumped on the trunk of the mini-bus, and in the burlesque performance by Olive during the coronation night. Apparently, these situations appealed to the decadence residing in each and every one of us that made us justify the actions taken by the characters in the film as correct and appropriate.

Undoubtedly, every person is acquiring, to some degree, of fantasies that society had regarded as unacceptable and deplorable. Perhaps these fantasies are what the film had presented that it was able to bridge the distance between what is outright immoral and what is humorously unethical. In King’s own words, this was explained in his observation, “If we share a brotherhood of man, then we also share an insanity of man” (King 1). This same criterion exist in horror as it does in comedy, as both of these genres deal with the emotional gators that need to be constantly fed. Why? “Because it keeps them from getting out, man.

It keeps them down there and me up here” (King 1). In a gist, the film Little Miss Sunshine enabled us to keep our sanity checked and bordered, as it allowed us to witness firsthand what we ourselves would have done in similar situations, especially if societal and cultural norms would be disregarded entirely. Works Cited King, Stephen. Why We Crave Horror Movies. Wicknet. org. 06 May 2010 <http://www. wicknet. org/english/English%2011/Voices%20II/Grotesques/Why%20We%20Crave%20Horror%20Movies. html> Little Miss Sunshine. Dir. Dayton, Jonathan, and Valerie Faris. 2006. United States: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

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