Free Movie Review About Psychological Disorders Depicted In “Little Miss Sunshine” By Jonathan Dayton And Valerie Faris
Shot in 2006, the comedy-drama film “Little Miss Sunshine” by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris is a perfect picture of dynamic family relationships where every member is a personality with a complex psychology due to age, gender, and emotional intelligence. The film is particularly significant for depicting the co-operation of different characters and the individual evolution of each of them from the point of view of psychology.
The first character in the movie the audience gets to know is Frank Ginsberg, a scholar of French author Marcel Proust, who is now discharged from the hospital. He made a failed suicide attempt after a period of depression. Frank had a bad timing which he thought he could not overcome: unanswered love, nervous breakdown, loss of a job and thus an apartment, and, finally, the huge career success of his opponent. All that led to his decision to commit suicide by slashing wrists. This case is a typical major depressive disorder caused by life events resulting in the disability of the person to deal with it independently. The movie accurately portrays the symptoms of the disorder during the postclinical period. Frank is introverted, impassive, sad, and phlegmatic; he rarely speaks and never smiles, and does not want to participate in the family activities.
Frank should have been treated professionally when the problems began so that he did not redouble them and try to kill himself. But now he has to be watched in particular because one suicide attempt is usually followed with another one. As the doctor prescribed, Frank needs to stay with family under close supervision. Generally, the acting by Steve Carell and the image created by the directors correspond to the proposed disorder.
Another character having the psychological disorder in the movie is Dwayne Hoover. The boy is 15, and he has taken a vow of silence. The film does not really explain why but the audience sees that the boy is very unhappy, and he states he hates everyone, even his family. Obviously, the teen mental health is particularly fragile, and Dwayne’s case might be the result of his parents’ inattention to his personality and inner world. His biological father divorced with his mother, and the audience sees that Dwayne is not in good relationships with his step-father Richard. While Sheryl, his mother, is an overworked woman, Richard, in his turn, is obsessed with making a career – nobody in the family is trying to understand the boy because everyone is busy.
Dwayne is an introvert type who feels better alone. He is underconfident and might have complexes about his body and appearance – the audience sees he trains a lot; his hair is dyed, and he has no friends at all. Dwayne is a big fan of Nietzsche and he might support his philosophy. All these features create the image of a teen psychological disorder of a dramatic nature – he is antisocial, and apathetic. Still, the fact that he has a dream to become a test pilot testifies of him being interested in life and wanting to develop in a definite area. The movie accurately portrays a troubled teenager devoid of attention but it does not really explain the nature of his depression so his psychology is represented not clearly enough.
Other characters represented in the movie do not seem to have any serious psychological disorders. Still, their personalities are interesting to analyze. Richard Hoover is a man who wants to build a career and have his first success with the book about leaders. He has created the system that can make any person successful and he wants to publish it as a book. The irony is that he is not successful in his own life – the family does not have enough money.
Edward Hoover is a rude World War II veteran, a drug-addict. He probably takes heroin for some reason. This old man’s psychology was affected during the war, and it is hard for him now to find a place in a real world and be occupied with something he is interested in. He only feels fully-valid with drugs. Everything hints at the possible substance dependence usual among the war veterans. His disorder is accurately represented in the film.
“Little Miss Sunshine” is significant for revealing the psychological problems that seem so ordinary for the contemporary population, and proposes the best treatment for all of them – family. Staying together and caring about each other will always save from any psychological trouble.
Hawton K, & Catalan J. (1987). Attempted suicide: a practical guide to its nature and management. Oxford University Press.
Turtletaub, Marc (Producer), & Dayton, Jonathan, & Faris, Valerie (Directors). (2006). Little Miss Sunshine [Motion Picture]. United States: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
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