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Marsai Martin in a scene from 'Little.'
Marsai Martin in a scene from 'Little.'
Photo: Universal Pictures






3/5 Stars


Jordan Sanders is a take-no-prisoners tech mogul whose 13-year-old younger self wakes up in her adult body just before a do-or-die presentation. Jordan’s long-suffering assistant, April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. Will Jordan learn the price of success, about the power of sisterhood, and have a second chance to grow up—and glow up—right?


I've been the biggest fan of Marsai Martin ever since she made her TV debut as quick-witted Diane Johnson on the hit ABC series, black-ish in 2014.

Following season one, at the age of ten, Marsai pitched her spin on body swap classics Grown and Freaky Friday, titled: Little. And headed down to Universal studios with black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Girls Trip screenwriter Tracy Oliver by her side.

Four years later, her vision has come to life on the big screen, making her the youngest executive producer in Hollywood - at the age of 14.

Not only does Marsai act as executive producer on Little, but she also stars in the leading role alongside comedy heavy-weights Issa Rae and Regina Hall.

Little centres around 38-year-old ruthless tech mogul and boss from hell Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall), who wakes up one morning in the body of her 13-year-old self (Martin), as a result of real-life black girl magic!

Early on in the movie, we learn that as a pre-teen Jordan was bullied at school and following a particularly nasty public humiliation, Jordan vows to work hard to become the boss and command her employees with an iron fist.

When Jordan returns to the body of her 13-year-old self, together with her assistant April (Issa Rae), she has to face her deep-rooted insecurities and reflect on how her bully behaviour effects the people around her.

If you're familiar with the "inspiration comedy, with a strong life lesson" movie genre, you'll figure about the ending pretty much in first 30 minutes and find the twists somewhat predictable.

But Marsai takes control of the leading role, and holds her own next to her experienced counterparts, Regina Hall and Issa Rae. Especially seeing that this is the 14-year-old's first feature film.

I found the relationship between Jordan and April extremely enjoyable, with April reminiscent of Issa's character Issa Dee on Insecure. Awkward, funny, charming and quick with the clapbacks and one-liners.Regina pushed the boundaries with Jordan's character, making her as mean as humanly possible, without going completely cartoon-ish. My only critique would be that I wish to have seen a little bit more of grown Jordan!

Unfortunately, there were several pointless sub-plots that I could have done without. Both Jordan and April's romantic relationships were not well developed and didn't impact their character growth or story arch in any way, leading to the plot flip-flopping a little toward to end.

When it came to the introduction, and execution of the scenes that took place the middle school, I started to battle with pinpointing who the movie was made for. Is it for a younger audience, with mature jokes intended for the parents? Or is Little intended for an older audience, sprinkled with dabbing, and flossing?

As a first-time producer and lead in a feature film, Marsai sparkles like a shooting star next to her seasoned colleagues. And even though some jokes fell a little flat, Marsai's immense talent and dedication far surpassed the meh moments. Can't wait to see what this Hollywood powerhouse in the making will deliver next!


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