Why is it that every year as we approach Oscar time, there are always people who feel compelled to write about how this or that award-favored film isn't really original? The latest offender is the Carpetbagger, who rehashes some tired detritus floating around the internet about the shocking -- truly shocking! -- parallels between Little Miss Sunshine and another family road trip comedy, National Lampoon's Vacation (which, for the record, is one of the funniest films ever made).

We even have some commenter on this piece on the Carpetbagger's site slamming LMS because the character of Olive resembles that pudgy girl with the big glasses from Blind Melon's "No Rain" video. I don't know about that, but if the directors did get the idea for Olive's look from a music vid, that wouldn't be shocking, either, as they're best known as music video directors. I'd still rather see a girl character who looks like Olive and is true to herself than yet another endlessly "cute" blond kid.

As for the originality argument -- I would challenge anyone bitching about the originality of LMS to name any film that isn't derivative in some way of some other film, book, play, magazine article, or even real life. Oh, heavens! The Queen isn't original, they just pulled that right from real stories about what happened between QEII and Blair! The Departed? Remake. Children of Men? Little Children? Thank You for Smoking? Bah, nothing but adaptations.

Reminds me of an interview with the Black Crowes many years ago when they were accused of not sounding "original" enough, and one of the band members responded tartly that he supposed they could be truly original and bang beaver pelts together, but that wouldn't make for very good music.

[ via Hollywood Elsewhere ]