Little
Theatrical release poster.
Directed byTina Gordon
Screenplay by
Story byTracy Oliver
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyGreg Gardiner
Edited byDavid Moritz
Music byGermaine Franco
Production
companies
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
Running time
109 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$49 million[2][3]

Little is a 2019 American fantasy comedy film directed and co-written by Tina Gordon. It stars Regina Hall, Issa Rae and Marsai Martin, and follows an overbearing boss who is transformed into the child version of herself. Martin serves as an executive producer for the film, and at 14 years old, is the youngest person to ever hold that title on a Hollywood production.

The film was released in New Haven on April 8, 2019, and it was released in the United States on April 12, 2019, by Universal Pictures, and grossed over $48 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances and heart but called it "a bit safer and lighter on laughs than many would like."[4] This is the last Legendary Pictures film at Universal due to production with the end of 5-year deal in the course of initiating the deal and making it return to Warner Bros. Pictures.

Plot

Bullied as a child, businesswoman Jordan Sanders has become the bully as she runs her own tech company like a dictator and treats her employees very poorly. After she behaves rudely towards a child using a toy magic wand, the child wishes that Jordan was a kid again

The wish comes true the next morning when Jordan wakes up as her 13-year-old self. With her assistant April temporarily taking over the company, Jordan is forced to return to the school where she was previously bullied. Because Jordan is now a “minor", April poses as her aunt.

At school, Jordan is introduced to her teacher, Mr. Marshall, whom she develops a crush on. Once again the target of bullies, Jordan befriends three other outcasts - Isaac, Raina and Devon. Meanwhile, April has difficulty keeping everyone's attention at work without Jordan's authority to back her up. At a restaurant, Jordan and April have dinner, bonding over their personal lives. Jordan loudly sings Mary J. Blige's "I'm Goin' Down" while intoxicated, embarrassing April. Despite her embarrassment, April sings along with Jordan, ending with Jordan accidentally pulling off a man's weave.

Meanwhile, the company's biggest client threatens to move to a competitor if the firm doesn't pitch him a great idea for a mobile app. Unable to reach Jordan before the pitch, April presents an original idea, "Discover Eyes", that Jordan had previously blocked her from pitching. Jordan is upset with April for this, they argue, and April quits her job.

After Jordan realizes how terrible she's been to April and everyone who cares about her, she helps her friends at school perform at a pep rally. At first, they are booed by the crowd, but after a successful performance, they earn a round of applause and the respect of their peers. April finds the girl who turned Jordan into a child and asks that she turn her back to normal; the attempt seemingly fails. Jordan, having changed inside, vows to be a better friend to April. Jordan wakes up the next morning restored to her adult self and returns to work with a respectful and positive attitude towards her employees. After several rejections, April's pitch scores a huge client. Jordan throws the company a party to celebrate the company's success with April's pitch, and April is given a well-deserved promotion to Creative Executive.

Cast

Production

Marsai Martin, who stars on Black-ish, came to the show's creator, Kenya Barris with the idea for the film on set in 2014 when she was ten years old, having been inspired by the film Big (1988). Martin acted as an executive producer on Little, and at the age of 14 is the youngest person to ever hold that title on a major Hollywood production.[5] Issa Rae signed onto the film on May 2, 2018, while Regina Hall, who was already attached as an executive producer, joined the cast later that month.[6][7]

Principal photography took place June through August 2018 around Atlanta.[8][9]

Release

The film was released in New Haven on April 8, 2019, and it released in the United States on April 12, 2019. It had originally been slated for a September 20, 2019 release.[6][10]

Reception

Box office

Little has grossed $40.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $8.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $48.8 million, against a production budget of $20 million.[2][3]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Hellboy, After and Missing Link, and was projected to gross $14–18 million from 2,667 theaters in its opening weekend.[11] The film made $5.4 million on its first day, including $735,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $15.5 million, finishing second, behind holdover Shazam!.[12] The film made $8.5 million and $3.5 million in its second and third weekends, respectively, finishing fifth and seventh.[13][14]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 46% based on 160 reviews, with an average rating of 5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A disappointingly uneven but overall agreeable spin on a familiar formula, Little benefits from a big heart -- and a story that makes good use of its talented, well-matched cast."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 4 out of 5 stars and a "definite recommend" of 62%.[12]

Peter Debruge of Variety praised Rae and Martin's performances, and called the film an "amusing yet predictable body-swap comedy."[17] The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave the film two out of five stars, saying that "[t]he comedy is fundamentally hobbled by the split in narrative focus between Jordan and April. We are never sure who is the heroine here, who has the comedy underdog status, who we are supposed to be rooting for."[18] On February 26, 2020, Little was among the 26 films of 2019 awarded the ReFrame Stamp.[19]

Music and soundtrack

On April 12, 2019, the film's soundtrack, Little: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, was released by Back Lot Music. The album features music by several artists, including Janelle Monáe, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams, and DaniLeigh. Chloe x Halle recorded "Be Yourself", which became the film's theme song.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c July, Beandrea (April 10, 2019). "'Little': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Little (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Little (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  4. ^ Ryan Fujitani (April 11, 2019). "Hellboy Fails to Catch Fire". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Michael Harriot (January 9, 2019). "#BlackGirlMagic: Black-ish Star Marsai Martin Set to Become Youngest Executive Producer in Hollywood History". The Grapevine. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Amanda M’Duka (May 2, 2018). "Issa Rae Joins 'Black-ish' Star Marsai Martin In 'Little' From Universal & Will Packer Productions". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Mia Galuppo (May 28, 2018). "Regina Hall Joins Issa Rae in Universal's 'Little' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  8. ^ Mary Caldwell, For the AJC. "Now casting: Issa Rae film seeking upscale Buckhead residents". Ajc.com. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  9. ^ "Issa Rae wraps filming of 'Little' in Atlanta". YouTube. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  10. ^ Ryan Reed (January 9, 2019). "Little' Trailer: Watch Regina Hall, Issa Rae in Body-Swap Comedy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  11. ^ Pamela McClintock (April 11, 2019). "Box Office Preview: Will 'Hellboy' Get Singed by 'Shazam'?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Anthony D'Alessandro (April 14, 2019). "'Shazam!' Still The Man With $23M+; 'Little' Grows Up; 'Hellboy' Cold With $12M+; 'After' Works Overseas – Midday B.O. Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (April 21, 2019). "Lowest Easter Weekend At The B.O. Since 2005 Despite $26M Purse Of 'La Llorona' – Saturday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 28, 2019). "Avengers: Endgame' Rests At $357M+ Opening Record; Eyes $33M+ Monday & Record $180M 2nd Frame; Weekend Biz Hits $401M+ High". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  15. ^ "Little (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "Little reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  17. ^ Peter Debruge (April 10, 2019). "Film Review: 'Little'". Variety. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  18. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (April 10, 2019). "Little review – big surprise for a bullying boss". The Guardian. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  19. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (February 26, 2020). "ReFrame Stamp Affixed On Record 26 Films For 2019". Deadline. Retrieved April 30, 2020.