Click here for more fun at RinkWorks!
 Main      Site Guide    
All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

All Movie Talk

All Posts



Little Miss Done Before

Little Miss Sunshine hit DVD recently, and there's a lot of buzz for it to pick up some Oscar nods. While I enjoyed the movie, I had this nagging feeling that I'd seen it previously. The more I've thought about it, the more I realized I had: the movie is every single indy comedy in the last several years.

I'm not sure when this trend started. Back in the 1990s, the indy comedy scene was all about quirky, slacker 20-somethings who debated pop culture while sorting out messed up love lives. Now the independent comedy has matured a bit, moving us into the wonderful world of quirky, hard-working adults sorting out their messed up familial lives.

Maybe it started with Wes Anderson, whose movies like Rushmore and especially The Royal Tenenbaums paved the way. The Anderson formula is pretty simple: you get a collection of top-notch actors who aren't quite huge movie stars (or who are upcoming movie stars) and cast them in a quirky, ironic movie about a dysfunctional family. Feature an eclectic, quirky soundtrack and lots of deadpan humor. Give each character a few completely insane quirks (there are lots of quirks) and you're good to go.

What the heck is up with this? Just off the top of my head, I can think of the Anderson films, Running With Scissors (2006), I (Heart) Huckabees (2004), Garden State (2004), Elizabethtown (2005) and I'm sure there are others. These movies all seem to straddle the line between the indy and mainstream world, with small budgets but decently sized releases.

Again, I don't mind these movies -- some of them I really like -- but I'm at a loss for what's causing this. It's not even so much that the movies all deal with the same subject matter that they all seem to have the same tone. They start out very ironic and detached, but eventually their exterior is washed away and replaced by a more sentimental (but rarely soppy) core.

Does anyone have any explanation for this trend?

Click here for more fun at RinkWorks!