Not a Happy Family


Could "Little Miss Sunshine," starring Greg Kinnear and Steve Carrell, become this year’s "Sideways"? You know, a small, quasi-dark indy film that builds a buzz and crashes the mainstream? Don’t bet against it. We consciously avoided knowing any advance plot points before we saw it, and so should you. (Remember "The Crying Game"? Think that.) We did talk with Nick Urata, the leader of the quartet DeVotchka, which scored the movie. The directors of the movie, husband-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Paris heard DeVotchKa’s music on KCRW in Santa Monica and said "Eureka!" or something like that. The title track of DeVotchKa’s album, "How it ends” "reminded (Dayton) of the movie," says Urata. "He said that was the sound of the movie. He called us up, we became friends and we started working together. It’s a comedy with a very dark side. A tragicomic family road trip." And DeVotchKa contributes re-worked instrumental tracks from "How it ends," It’s Eastern European-based music that is dark, but somehow vibrant and its contrasts fit the movie like a glove. Knowing that, the directors feature it prominently.

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