Great opening first page.
Sets up the character of Olive and what she wants. She wants to be in a beauty pageant. This is emphasized with her freezing and rewinding the tape over and over again.
We then cut to Richard in class.
Nice bit of dialogue.
There's two types of people in this
world – Winners... and Losers.
Nice touch with the class being almost empty on page 2. What does that say about Richard and his teaching?
On page 4, you have the coke being lined on the mirror and then the dollar bill. Not something you relate to coke. A one dollar bill. Then the introduction of Grandpa.
Good turning point on page 8 with Olive being excepted into the Little Miss Sunshine Contest.
Great opening 10 pages. Sets up the characters.
Olive wants to be in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest.
Richard wants to be successful.
Sheryl has a suicidal brother, she's also trying to hold the family together.
Frank is Sheryl's suicidal brother.
Dwayne hates everyone and he's fedup with life.
Nice turning point on page 20 when Olive and Sheryl hear the message from Jeff. Olive's over the moon about the contest.
Grandpa gives a nice speech to Olive about trying and if you try you're not a loser on page 50. As much as this is about Olive and the contest. It's also about the family coming together, trying to be a family.
Sad moment on page 57 when Grandpa is declared dead. Looks like they won't make it to the contest now.
One of the funniest moments in the movie when the Trooper searches the back of the bus and finds the porn mags on page 70. Will he find Grandpa's body, will he bust them? No.
One of the funniest moments happens on page 76 when they're so close to the hotel but so far.
How the fuck do you get across?
You can really empathise with the whole family here. Even entering a hotel parking lot is a challenge. Could things get any worse?
The obstacles keep coming, now the Official won't let them enter on page 79. Rising tension. All this way, only to be told. Sorry, you're too late.
A good example of the dark humor on page 83.
Yeah. Is there a funeral home around here?
Things appear to be changing for Richard and Sheryl when they have the argument about whether or not Olive should continue on page 98. The first time Richard admits to being a loser, comes clean. This is emphasized when Dwayne walks in wearing his Loser T-shirt. Not to mention Dwayne talks to Sheryl.
Page 105 is very much what this whole story has been about. The family comes together and root for Olive when the Assistant tries to stop Olive from finishing her routine. Richard gets up on the stage with Olive and wrestles with the Assistant.
There's much more than just winning. There's the taking part and trying. Richard supports Olive by dancing with her. Perhaps he's learned something?
Great ending with the family together, apart from Grandpa. If you compare the closing scene with the scenes with the family in the kitchen on page 7 and beyond, it's the complete opposite. The beauty pageant has brought the family together, they managed to get through a load of obstacles and ended up being there for Olive.
It isn't always that important whether you can relate to or feel empathy for characters. You do not always need to feel empathy and a lot of the time characters do not need a flaw or character arc. If they don't change during the course of the movie, who cares, as long as the movie is entertaining and draws you into its world.
Not every single character created needs to have a flaw and character arc. You don't go to the cinema to learn, you go to be entertained.
But, when it comes to movies like this, it's very important that the audience and reader can relate to and feel empathy and sympathy for the characters. It must be done.
A great piece of writing to learn from. Also a great movie.