So many quotes would have you believe the journey is what matters, not the destination. However, the film Little Miss Sunshine would have you believe otherwise. For those in the car, the journey is brutal. The characters endure car troubles, awful timing for bad news, and a death in the family, no less. The destination seems to be the only salvation for the poor band of relatives. After being beaten down by the harshness of “being on the road,” arriving at the Little Miss Sunshine Beauty Pageant and achieving Olive’s dream was the only thing that made the treacherous journey worthwhile. This film would have you believe that the road is definitely a trap.
This is a stark departure of the idea of the road trip as a liberating escapade to possibility. It could be said that the trip brought the family within close enough proximity to prove they love each other, but I don’t see that having anything to do with “the road” or the act of travelling. I think of the road in this film as an obstacle that needs to be overcome in order to actualize a goal.