Fri | Sep 17, 2021

Little | Not much there

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer

No one liked being a kid when they were one. Everyone couldn’t wait until they were big. Being big means staying up late, and eating what you want, and for Marsai Martin’s Jordan Sanders, it means a life without bullying. Fast-forward years later, and little Marsai is now big Regina Hall, who’s taken to being a bully herself now that she’s big. The victims of such bullying include her love interest, Trevor, and her dutiful assistant, April, played by Issa Rae.

Normally, a character like Jordan would be an old white man visited by three ghosts and taught how to be humble before the clock struck 12 on Christmas Eve. In this case, Jordan’s bullying catches the eye of a young girl with an affinity for magic that makes her ‘little’. The movie then goes on as she and her assistant figure out a way to return her to her rightful size.

Painfully Obvious Dialogue

Throughout the film, the characters are forced to deliver painfully obvious dialogue. Nothing is left to the imagination as several times the motivations and descriptions for certain characters read like they had been stripped out of the notes to the side of a script. Not at all the way any person typically speaks. It’s the kind of convenient dialogue that allows a movie to rush through meaningfully establishing its characters so that they can hurry up and get to the funny bits of the film.

Of course, in order for that to work, the funny bits have to actually be funny. While Marsai Martin’s performance as the little Jordan Sanders is a good one (far better than her grown counterpart, Regina Hall), the situations she’s in are more or less dull. Young Jordan must navigate the perils of elementary school with the body of a child but the mind of a woman. It’s not presented in a particularly clever way. In fact, you’re reminded how unrealistic the film is with scenes that could only take place in ‘movie world’.

With decent performances by Issa Rae and Marsai Martin, Little doesn’t have much else to warrant a trip to the cinema. Those most curious about the concept can catch it on cable for a half hour or so but should feel free to shut it off as soon as they get bored, as the ending leaves next nothing to be desired.

Rating: Catch It On Cable