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"There are two sides to me; one is a sort of a rat, a quiet introvert who sits alone in Chinese restaurants reading Private Eye, and the other is something which is almost precisely like a politician, somebody who works the room."  -writer and film maker Bob Ellis
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday October 3, 2019 

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LITTLE

SYNOPSIS:
Thirty eight year old Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall), a high powered executive is transformed into her thirteen year old self (Marsai Martin) at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. Only her PA April (Issa Rae) knows her secret.

Review by Louise Keller:
A fun twist on the body switch premise, Little is big on laughs and delivers a whopping good time. Imagine Big (1988, Tom Hanks), Freaky Friday (2003, Jamie Lee Curtis) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006, Meryl Streep) in a crazy cocktail in which the protagonist Jordan uses her long suffering PA April as the go-between when she suddenly assumes the body of her thirteen year old self (Marsai Martin). The three central performances make everything zing: Regina Hall, convincing as the tyrannical company head; Issa Rae, excellent as the hilarious PA with ambitions of her own, and Marsai Martin as the former tormented schoolgirl with the oversized Afro and attitude to match. I laughed a lot and had a good time in this zany escapist comedy that champions believing in yourself without losing sight of who you really are.

When the film begins, we meet the young frizzy haired Jordan (Martin) in Middle School at a time when she feels that 'being me sucks'. That's because she is 'little', she is told. Then we jump to the present day, when Jordan (Hall, in full flight) has sleek straight hair, a compliant virtual assistant and a wardrobe of which Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw would approve. 'Perfect' is the word she uses, when she looks in the mirror. There's a silver BMW i8 coupe, sexy boyfriend (Luke James), a PA who panders to ever whim and a thriving business that suddenly becomes vulnerable when its biggest client threatens to leave..

As far as incredible concepts go, the moment when the young girl from the mobile donut van casts the spell that prompts Jordan to wake up as her younger self is well done, and we jump onboard as the fish out of water concept is pushed to the max. The scene with the child protection services official is funny; young Jordan's lusting after her hunky teacher is mildly amusing; the sequence when Jordan sings atop an upmarket bar is plain stupid. Let's take the law of averages.

I like the story strand that involves the school outcasts whom young Jordan befriends, and director Tina Gordon, who co-wrote the screenplay, keeps everything on track for the journey back - from little to big. Of course we know where everything is heading, but the fun is how it gets there. I was surprised at how much fun I had in this upbeat tall tale that embraces life and everything in it.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

LITTLE (M)
(US, 2019)

CAST: Regina Hall, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Justin Hartley, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tone Bell, Mikey Day, JD McCrary, Tucker Meek, Thalia Tran, Marley Taylor

PRODUCER: Kenya Barris, James Lopez, Will Packer

DIRECTOR: Tina Gordon

SCRIPT: Tina Gordon, Tracy Oliver

EDITOR: David Moritz

MUSIC: Germaine Franco

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Keith Brian Burns

RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 11, 2019







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