Why all the hate for Little Miss Sunshine? - By Matt Feeney - Slate Magazine:
"By now, [Time critic Richard] Corliss' thesis is more than valid. It's obvious. You might even say it's formulaic. The critics have a point, which they sometimes make with noticeable bitterness, that many independent films are stale and mannered. But for some of these films, this critical dismissal is a strange fate: to be faulted for pretense, preciosity, and stylistic calculation when their real achievement is to reintroduce an enjoyable sort of broad humor into American cinema. You may not find the next Bergman at Sundance, but you might well find some fancy poop jokes."
I gave a poor review to LMS also not because it was pretentious, precious and stylistically calculating, but because those traits seemed OBVIOUS to me in viewing the film. I loved Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know", which was at least as pretentious and precious as LMS, but the film didn't proclaim that fact in every frame. The story, as quirky as it was, seemed to flow more evenly, characters seemed to be real people. I don't exactly know how Ms July did that and Dayton-Faris did not, but to my eyes, there was a big difference between her film and LMS.
(Thanks to kottke.org for the link!)