I went to this very reluctantly last night, despite the excellent reviews the "concept" of another dysfunctional family road trip (for the pre-teen daughter to be in one of those Jon-Benet type contests, being the pickle on top) just made me roll my eyes and start to yawn. But, was I wrong! Really excellent acting by everyone--even some of the absolutely over the top parts of the trip that would have had me snoozing in a Chevy Chase film had both my sig. other and me laughing out loud--something neither of us is prone to do--because the charactors had been so well developed it actually seemed almost logical. The little girl who plays Olive is amazing, but so were the actors who were the teen brother, mom, dad, uncle and gramps (all the adults are well known charactor actors, so that's no surprise I guess, but the kids really held their own). The response of the brother, dad and uncle when they see what goes on at one of these pageants...terrific. And an extra rose to whoever played "Miss California" (maybe the real one?)--she was terrific, as were the other actors associated with the pageant--both the good and the evil. Ditto the bereavement counselor they contact along the way... lots of actors whose faces I recognized in small parts.
So, hoping I haven't built it up too much....I do recommend it. And even though it was Saturday night it wasn't crowded...must have been some "blockbuster" opening that night.