Movie Review: ‘Little’


Director: Tina Gordon

Cast: Marsai Martin, Regina Hall, Issa Rae

Plot: Jordan Sanders is an abusive boss and tech mogul who is reverted back to age 13, leaving her bullied assistant to help manage the scenario.

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Review: Marsai Martin, the young star of Black-ish, is quite remarkable. Not only is she the strongest actor in this film but she conceived the concept as a reversal of Big and acts as executive producer. Being of the age 14 at the time she is the youngest person to hold this credit in the history of the industry. That’s genuinely impressive. Issa Rae also displays a lot of talent, having built her own comedy career starting with a YouTube channel. It’s just a shame that their talents and skills have this flimsy stage to work on.

This is a script that does not know what message it’s trying to deliver. Throughout the film the two main threads – magically de-aged mogul Jordan (Martin) navigating school society and April (Rae) having to take up a management role – drift further and further apart until the movie has to concoct contrived reasons to make them overlap. The message is deeply confusing. Jordan ends up trying to help some social outcasts at school and learns to be yourself instead of trying to fit in and make people like you…but they do both anyway. They only receive positivity and praise for rebranding themselves, and then receive more again for being themselves so I guess either would have worked.

There’s actually no reason why Jordan should have felt that she needed to rediscover herself. We learn that as a child she loved science, but was bullied. As a result she earned great success in…science. The only issue is that she would bully her employees and needed to learn to be nice again, but she only learns this by pushing people into doing things they don’t want…I just don’t know what the takeaway was. Most characters only appear for two scenes at most so there’s no reason to get attached to them.

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The biggest disservice to the performers, however, is the editing. The movie is rife with continuity errors, the rhythm of the cuts never matches the pace of the comedy and at least twice characters appeared in different places to where’d they had been. Things aren’t helped by the unimaginative direction and awkward framing, but it’s the editing that’s really iffy.

There’s plenty of good jokes here and we readily acknowledge that we’re not the intended audience for Little, but given what Marsai Martin has proven she is capable of it’s a shame that she’s not better showcased.

Rating: TWO out of TEN

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