Wednesday, September 5

Today's Memo: "Little Miss Sunshine"

To: The folks who made "Little Miss Sunshine"
From: Dave
Date: Sept. 5
Subject: Greeting cards

The joy I associate with "Little Miss Sunshine" is gone. It disappeared a few weeks ago, when I was waiting in Target for a prescription to be filled and I discovered a line of "Little Miss Sunshine" greeting cards in Target. Was it really necessary to dilute the experience of your wonderful film by licensing and transforming your nuanced characters and sophisticated, layered story to a bunch of one-liner birthday and anniversary cards?

"Little Miss Sunshine" Greeting Cards?

At first, I just pitied you. Then I discovered a card that made me DESPISE you. Here's the front, which says "It's only a birthday":

"It's only a birthday."

And here's the inside, which says "No need to do anything drastic":

"No need to do anything drastic."

Knowing both the plot of the film and the character represented on the card's cover, it's obvious that the message is a reference to suicide. In other words, and I feel I need to use the Caps Lock key here to make my message loud and clear, YOU'RE SELLING BIRTHDAY CARDS THAT MAKE FUN OF SUICIDE. It was not an issue you exploited for a cheap laugh in the film, and that's what makes this particular greeting card so surprising -- and so reprehensible.

I don't begrudge anyone in Hollywood for trying to make a buck, but "Little Miss Sunshine" didn't feel like a typical Hollywood film. It's your prerogative to license your film to greeting card companies, just like the people who made the "Shrek" films and the "Spider-Man" films. Perhaps the extra money in your bank account will compensate for the disillusionment from people like me, who thought that "Little Miss Sunshine" was something special, and came from people who were just a little bit different.


Elise Gres said...

These cards remind me of how they (whoever They are) also turned Napolean Dynamite into an advertising vehicle, though with fewer worrisome consequences. Nothing is sacred...

A million tiny Hummers: ha! Yes!!

The required reading: me like! :)

Tampa said...

Here, here.