We were trapped at home during Texas Ice Storm ’07 last week and the two movies my wife and I had from the Netflixs were An Inconvenient Truth and Little Miss Sunshine.

Aside from making me depressed that Al Gore was so ridiculed for essentially being a smart, sane person, Truth was pretty great.

On the other hand, Little Miss Sunshine was also good. I guess. Fine. I liked it. I enjoyed watching it. But the minute it ended, I felt as if I’d been fooled somehow, like some damn carny had snuck into my house and cheated me of all my $1 bills with only a 30-cent stuffed bunny in exchange.

I liked the cast and everything just fine, but the movie felt manipulative in a way that was almost evil. My friend Dave called it “Indie by the numbers,” and it goes a little beyond that for me. It was like a piece of art that a very talented person painted only because they knew it would sell. Sure, there’s a market for that and it’s cool, but don’t call it art, you know?

I’ll be very upset if it gets a Best Picture nomination, but I’m starting to wonder if the movie’s trick is so well-designed that it’s going to fool enough people to do so. It’s not like people don’tfall for tricks. They’re not just for kids, as you probably know.