Little - Age Regression Comedy Comes Up Short...

Little is directed by Tina Golden. The film stars Regina Hall, Issa Rae, and Marsai Martin.

Jordan Sanders is a no-nonsense business woman running a tech startup, but is loathed and feared by her employees, including her assistant April. When Jordan awakens one morning in a child’s body, her life is flipped upside down! Forced to attend school in her new child body, April must try to run the company in her boss’ absence, but both women encounter their share of obstacles along the way.

At the age of 14, Marsai Martin, who plays the young version of April in this film, is the youngest person to ever be the executive producer on a Hollywood production.

I wish her name was attached to a better film.

I admire Little for having a cast comprised primarily of black women and for its young executive producer, but these things, sadly, don’t make the movie good. It’s a lazy effort which feels like a retread of better films, poorly written with an unlikable protagonist and scattershot humor which often misses the mark. Furthermore, the film attempts to introduce far too many subplots and characters, many of which are abandoned without a second thought. Did I mention there's way too much in the way of product placement and pop culture references?

If nothing else, Little is decently cast, with the standout being Marsai Martin as the young version of Jordan, who I have no doubt will move on to better films and greater things in the future. There are some decent actors and actresses here, all of whom do what they can with what they have.

Sadly, not much else about the movie works. Right from the get-go, Jordan is anything but likable. The movie tries to drive this point far too forcefully and often in its first act, and it just becomes too much. Furthermore, if Jordan is such a terror, why do people even bother working for her company? Even the character of April is a bit over-the-top throughout the production, which doesn’t help the film’s case, especially when you consider she's supposed to be the "straight woman" in all of this. Jordan invented an Alexa-esque app called "HomeGirl" for use in her luxury apartment, and it's pretty sad that the HomeGirl app is the most interesting character in the film, and the one with the most personality.

The biggest problem with the film is it bites off more than it can chew. A subplot involving Jordan in her child body crushing on her handsome male teacher has the potential to go places, but the teacher character just stops appearing after a time. Likewise, a subplot about Jordan needing to be enrolled in school so as not to get in trouble with the law is also abandoned, yet she seemingly quits going to school at some point without explanation, only showing up there when it's convenient for the plot. An entire subplot regarding Jordan trying to befriend and make the uncool kids cool just feels out of place and is probably the weakest link in it all. The core story of the movie can’t decide if it wants to follow Jordan’s child body antics, or April attempting to run the company in her boss’ absence. And yet, the filmmakers find time for a bloated “musical number” of sorts between the two female leads which has nothing to do with the plot whatsoever and just comes off as pointless.

The humor itself runs the gamut from juvenile to adult, which really makes one ponder the question of who the movie was made for. There are things here which will only make the most young and immature of children giggle, yet there are plenty of more risque elements which certainly aren’t appropriate for the little ones, including talk of things like booty calls and Jordan (in a child’s body) wanting to drink alcohol. It’s all over the place, and not in a good way.

It doesn't help that there are assorted pop culture references around every single corner, which are jokes that, even when they do land, are far too reliant on outside sources to be funny; expect plenty of these references to be dated in a few years.

And then there's a product placement! The movie, at times, feels like a two-hour commercial for Lyft and Postmates. Seriously, you couldn't just make up fictional in-universe companies to meet this need of the plot?

Little fails on nearly every front, though I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me chuckle a little a few times throughout. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a bad movie overall though, with so many better comedies out there on the market these days. The misses far outweigh the hits, so skip it.

Rating: One half star out of four.

DISCLAIMER: Images in this review are the property of their respective owners, including Universal, Legendary, and Will Packer Productions. For promotional use only. All rights reserved.

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