Okay, I didn’t like “Little Miss Sunshine”. Sorry. I thought it was contrived and forced and had every indie screenwriter cliché shoved into it and down the audience’s throat. The performances, which were excellent, masked these weaknesses and went all the way to fooling the Academy, which by the way, isn’t that hard to do since “Shakespeare in Love” won in 1999. So when I heard this was “from the people who brought you Little Miss Sunshine” I cringed a bit. But what the hell. I went in with an open mind. Now here’s the thing: This is a much better movie. It’s a better script, has better performances, and feels more organic and natural. By the way, it was the same producers of “Little Miss Sunshine”, not the same writer or director. It’s the story of a cleaning lady who needs more money so she and her slacker sister start a cleaning business to clean up crime scenes. But it’s more about family relationships, the choices you make in your life, and even a dose of “the grass is always greener” philosophy chased down with a shot of cheap whiskey. Which is how I like all my life lessons, by the way. Alcohol chaser to kill the taste. The movie moves slowly but it not a detriment. It’s a character study, and we are invested in these characters because they feel real and are quite flawed and completely watchable. You root for them and feel for them, and it does what a good movie should. I felt like I got my money’s worth. Not like that Sham Wow guy who paid a hooker $1000 and then she bit his tongue and wouldn’t let go. That’s buyer’s remorse. Now, are there problems? Sure. They come from the few contrived and even worse, recycled parts taken from LMS and used again in this movie like the scheming father played once again by Alan Arkin in the exact same role in the exact same character. Precocious kid with some problems, check. Also, did you really think it was clever to use the word Sunshine in the title again? However, it would be clever if every movie from now on they made has Sunshine in the title. “Sunshine and Rain”, “At the corner of Sunshine and Vine” “Sunshine and Moonshine” See? Now that I can get behind. In fact, one of the producers actually produced “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Not even making that up. The performances are absolutely superb. Amy Adams really is fantastic, even when she recites a few corny lines, which thankfully are few and far between. Oh, and she’s in her underwear a lot in this film. That most certainly does not hurt. Emily Blunt is great, and Mary Lynn Rajskub really shines in a small role. She’s really come a long way since “Mr. Show”. So is this a better movie than “Little Miss Sunshine?” Absolutely. Will it do as well? Absolutely not. It doesn’t have broad appeal and is darker and more dramatic. It also doesn’t have Steve Carrell after “40 Year Old Virgin” made him a star and saved “the Office” TV show. It has less sunshine, and the experience is much more satisfying with a few clouds rolling in.