Little, Provides a Big Message
Junious Ricardo Stanton
The motion picture Little opened in theaters on April 12 and is doing very well at the box office for a low budget film. As of this writing the film has grossed $15,499,000 its first weekend coming in second to Shazam the multi-million dollar budget comic book character movie. Little is a fantasy that provides a powerful underlying message.
Little is the story of an up and coming IT entrepreneur named Jordan Sanders played by Regina Hall. Jordan Sanders is portrayed as a hard driving, insensitive and obnoxious person whose management style has alienated her employees, especially her chief assistant April played by Issa Rae. Hall’s character shares early in the film via flashbacks why she developed such a hard exterior.
Flashback scenes show Jordan as an extremely bright student, who although supported by her parents was made fun of and bullied when she was in middle school. To survive, young Jordan adopts a hard exterior and decides to take on an aggressive posture confronting her peers before they can mock and bully her.
Hall’s character is put in the awkward situation of having to persuade her best client played by Micky Day, a venture capitalist from a well-to-do family but who thinks he’s made it on his own, to back one of her projects. The problem is, Hall berates her employees, denigrates their ideas and browbeats them to the point they are afraid of her. Her assistant April is also afraid of her boss and is fearful of pitching her own ideas to Jordan. As her assistant April is forced to work with Jordan in close proximity, she is the recipient of most of Jordan’s wrath.
The daughter of a food truck owner played by Massai Martin and her father Preston played by Tone Bell respectively are marginal characters but are pivotal to the story. Preston the food truck owner plies his business near Jordan’s building. His daughter is a fledgling magician with an active imagination. Following a confrontation with Jordan she casts a spell on Hall’s character wishing Sanders was small like her so she could deal with her.
The film follows Hall’s character after she has been changed from an adult to a pre-adolescent the same age as the food truck owner’s daughter. The spell turns Jordan’s world upside down and causes major changes in her life besides the obvious one of being a smaller version of her adult self.
Little Jordan now needs adult supervision because one of her neighbors, one of the many adults Jordan has alienated, calls protective services on her. The case worker comes to her condo to investigate while April is there and asks why the child Jordan is not in school. The case worker demands Jordan get into school and threatens April with jail if she does not take Jordan to school.
As fate would have it, little Jordan is assigned to her old middle school, the same place she is forced to try to “fit in” and relive being bullied and tormented by the “cool kids” who populate the school. Once in school, she is mocked, isolated and forced to hang out with the nerds in a safe place during lunch in the cafeteria.
Being an adult in a child’s body with her obnoxious attitudes, she attempts to help her new buddies overcome their isolation by using her money to give them makeovers to look “cool”. Turns out the nerds are planning to showcase their talents at a talent show and they hope they will be seen in a new light by their tormentors.
Without giving more details away, circumstances force little Jordan to rethink her ideas about fitting in and how to treat people. She eventually sees the light and determines to be her authentic herself and not allow what others think stifle her self-interest or plans. It takes a convoluted series of incidents and events both at the middle school and at her business to help her learn who her true friends are resulting in a personal metamorphosis while still in Jordan’s child’s body.
The film provides an important lesson, which applies to all of us regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status, having the courage to be authentically you. The film is not as ratchet as some of the trailers I saw and I was really glad I went to see it. You will enjoy it also.