Question: I'm having trouble recognizing the genre of the movie little miss sunshine. Is it a tragedy or a comedy?Answer:
I haven't actually seen this film, only heard about it. However, here's how you can recognize the answer for yourself...
It all depends on two questions.
1. Is the story goal achieved? (This gives an Outcome of either Success or Failure.)
From what I understand this film is about a family whose goal is to have their daughter win a talent contest, but she doesn't win. If that's correct, then that means an Outcome of Failure.
2. Is the main character better off in the end? Is his/her inner conflict resolved happily? (This gives a Judgment of either Good or Bad.)
Again, from what I've been told, the family in this film end up closer and happier as a result of their endeavour. If that's correct, it would be a Judgment of Good.
Stories with an Outcome of Failure and a Judgment of Good are best described as Tragi-comedies or personal triumphs.
In case I've been misinformed about this film, here are the other possibilities...
Success/Good = Comedy (or happy ending)
Success/Bad = Comi-tragedy or personal failure.
Failure/Bad = Tragedy
I'll leave you to make the final decision, since you know the film better than I.