Movie Review: Little (2019)

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Summary: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this movie, all of the supporting characters do their jobs, they’re funny, cute (for the kids) and do what they’re supposed to do. The bigger standouts are of course our main characters.
  • Regina Hall as Jordan Sanders. Jordan is indeed a ruthless tech mogul. She almost reminded me of Miranda from Devil Wears Prada just a bit louder in how she talks to people lol. She’s incredibly smart and has big goals for her future but she has to learn how to take the ideas and suggestions from others in order to be successful. She is mean, like for real, rude and she feels that because of what happened to her as a kid, that she is owed to do this to other people. I like Regina Hall and I think it’s clear she’s having fun in this role. She doesn’t appear in most of the movie but in the beginning and the end, we get to see her transform (not that much) but still. Good casting.
  • Marsai Martin as 13-year-old Jordan Sanders. We get a grasp of her as an actual pre-teen early on which shows that Jordan is super smart. When we see her as an adult in her pre-teen body, she’s acting the way she acted as an adult. Entitled, rude and thinking the crowds will part for her. She of course learns quickly that she doesn’t hold the same weight as she did before considering she’s now a child. Throughout the film, we get to see Jordan struggle with who she has become and who she used to be and I think Marsai does a good job with portraying both sides to Jordan. She is afraid of becoming that girl she used to be because of the pain she went through in school. I totally get that. I also loved how she reacted to Trevor as both an adult and in her younger body because she gets to see herself through the eyes of someone who actually cares about her. Marsai is very expressive with her face which I think is a strong point for her. I was impressed with her (as I don’t actively watch Black-ish yet).
  • Issa Rae as April Williams. She is Jordan’s overworked assistant. She basically is always on her toes when it comes to doing whatever Jordan needs from her. It’s clear that she’s good at her job as an assistant but she’s determined to be more than that. I love Issa Rae, she’s so energetic and captivating whenever she’s on screen that I enjoy her no matter what. Her character is relatable as we all have worked with people or bosses who just burn our grits and she gets to react and say things that we have either said or wish we said. April wants to be a creative designer in the company and is worried she’ll never get there because Jordan won’t let her. It’s also nice to see her have her moments to grow as a person and become stronger. Issa is great in this human, relatable role, it’s where she shines, I think.
Charming and Hilarious. There’s a lot of charm in this movie, it’s done with pure intentions and I think it shows. It’s definitely from the mind of a child and while it’s not obvious (like with The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl) it’s done with love and respect for Marsai’s vision. It’s also extremely funny. I was surprised at how much I laughed but I think I laughed mostly as Issa Rae who is hilarious on her own. Marsai Martin also does really well whenever she is bouncing off other adults, particularly the scene with her teacher. How it’s shown in the trailer is pretty much what happens in the movie but it’s still funny. However, there is great comedic chemistry with Issa Rae and Regina Hall and Marsai Martin. They all really bounce off each other well.
Overall Story. So yes, you can compare this to BIG if you want, Marsai even said she was inspired by that movie, which is an honor. I think the overall point of the movie, is made strongly. Don’t forget who you were, be yourself and go after what you want. Jordan reverted back to her 13-year-old self because she had to remember what she felt in those years that made her into the person she was. She had to grow from that in a different way. April had to learn to go after what she wanted by being herself and not do things that would compromise who she was as a person. I think that’s a nice message to give to anyone who watches the film.
Cons:
Formulaic/Predictable. I mean this is in the vein of all the comedies that came before it with similar stories so it’s hard to be original (other than the fact the leads are black women and she’s a TECH MOGUL!) but it’s really hard to take the story seriously when I can predict exactly what’s going to happen. Jordan goes back to middle school and think she’s going to be the Alpha female but is quickly put on her ass by the head cheerleader. Not to mention, she ends up being ridiculed by the other students and has to hang out with the other outcasts who she takes under her wing and all that kind of stuff. I mean it’s textbook. So mostly I enjoyed the movie for the humor and the performances.
Unbalanced. A big problem is the narrative in that we seem to want to focus mostly on Jordan and her journey but we also have a lot of focus on April and her journey and I think the movie gets bogged down by trying to juggle both parts. It manages to do it but it doesn’t make for smooth storytelling. At times the movie even seems to focus on April more than it does Jordan which is a bit of a problem as that’s not what the movie starts off with or even really ends with.
Unearned Realizations. In movies like this there’s also a big moment of realization after our heroines go through something that makes them really rethink their life choices. I felt the conversation between April and Jordan where they have this moment where they talk about this… I was like meh because while we did see them both experience things that put them out of their depth, it didn’t feel earned, particularly for Jordan because outside of that one talk with Trevor, what exactly did she learn? The whole point of being reverted to a child is to see the world as a child and to embrace the part of her that she let go. It happened for movie sake not because she really earned that realization. At least to me.
Overall, I think Littleis a really cute and charming movie. It’s extremely hilarious, I laughed quite a bit and the performances are really the stand out in the film. I do think the intended messages manages to make its way across even though the story narrative is unbalanced and it’s very predictable and I do think Jordan’s 180 at the end comes a bit out of nowhere especially as Jordan never really seems to embrace the whole feeling of being a child again which is usually the point of these kinds of movies. It ends up coming off shallow and that’s not what I would want for a movie that’s told from the mind of a smart and charming child. Otherwise, I think it’s worth the watch, especially as a girl’s night out.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Little? If so, what’s your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
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