Heartwarming comedy follows a dysfunctional family on a frantic road trip across the US in a decrepit Volkswagen van to deliver their youngest to a chld beauty pageant on time. Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) is an ordinary little girl, perhaps even on the plain side as far as looks go but she has a dream cast in stone - to win the Little Miss Sunshine child beauty pageant. Her heroin-snorting grandfather (Alan Arkin) coaches her in some rather unorthodox and grown-up techniques - when he's not on the nod. Her mum (Toni Collette) and dad (Greg Kinnear) are at each other's throat because dad has sunk their entire worth into a self-help business that's a total non-starter. Her philosophically-constipated older brother (Paul Dano) has taken a vow of nihilistic silence and her suicidal gay uncle (Steve Carell) has come to stay for a while after yet another failed attempt to cash out early. Has Olive got a chance? No, she hasn't, but it's the journey that matters, not the destination - ultimately the message of this touching comedy.