With Hollywood becoming more inclusive; taking chances on Black, Asian and even Middle Eastern characters in romantic leads and with far more females both in front and behind the camera, we are fully entering the age of representation. And Universal Pictures’ “Little” is just that. A movie written by and for the little black girl in all of us.
The film follows a familiar trope of someone with an obvious character flaw transformed into what would be their worst possible thing, in this case, a 13-year-old girl. But the strength of the story is in the casting choices. Issa Rae and Regina Hall bring the laughs throughout in every scene they’re both in. Marsai Martin (who is also the youngest executive producer of all time on this film) is adorable and charming as young Jordan.
However, the strongest comedic bits come from the dynamic between Rae’s timid April and Hall’s domineering Jordan. Once the transformation happens, the punches don’t land as hard, but watching Marsai accidentally (or intentionally) flirt with grown men will bring boisterous laughter from your belly.
The film is essentially a black girl’s version of Disney’s “Freaky Friday” starring Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. Another comedy about body switching, this time, between mother and daughter and all the confusion and hilarity that could cause. “Little” is basically the same thing. Body switching (or in this case, body shrinking?) stories have funny tropes built inside of just the transformation itself. It’s all in how well you explore the confusion, the bodily changes, and the situations around each. “Little” moves too quickly to do this properly.
In this film, Jordan goes from top-notch CEO to a bullied middle schooler. The fix (much like in Freaky Friday) is in acceptance of the situation and who you are before the switch back can be made. The imposed deadline is two days because that’s when Jordan’s biggest client is set to leave the company unless they can come up with an exiting new idea, which April believes she has.
Overall, “Little” is good fun. An easy laugh out loud comedy with a good cast and some solid, albeit cheesy, performances at times. If you’re unable to see it in theaters, it’s definitely one that should make your DVD shelf at some point.