Little Men movie full length review - What on earth was this about? And whatever it was, does there need to be a movie about it?
I'll give it an extra point for the acting, so it gets a 2 instead of a 1.
Just before the final couple minutes of the movie, the screen goes black, and I leaned over and said to my wife "If this is the end, I want my money back." Well, it had a little epilogue, but that simply served to put the nail in the coffin.
Many say this movie was from the boys' point of view. No. It wasn't. A lot of the action centers on them, but they are almost always interacting with teachers, parents, other students, etc. and there is nothing that indicates the boys' point of view is being given. That's pure pretentious fantasy.
Since we are subjected to several scenes from "The Seagull," where Greg K. is playing an actor in the play, we might expect some relevance to the action in the movie. Maybe I'm just not smart enough, but it drew a blank for me. I even looked up "The Seagull" in Wikipedia to see if I missed something. Nope. Nothing.
Similarly, Greg K. gives a little father-son talk at the end of the movie. You would think this would also sum up the point of the movie. He gave some long story about a childhood acquaintance who wanted to be a dancer but keep practicing so hard she was constantly injured and never became a dancer at all. The moral of his story--as he explicitly said--was that you achieve success not by hard work, but by knowing when to pull back and simply go with what you've got. Great. Nice moral. But...what did it have to do with the movie I just saw? Nothing.
Then we've got the main conflict in the movie: the dressmaker who occupies the store had a great relationship (sexual? maybe, but there's no real hint of that) with Greg K's father, who never raised the rent in eight years. Greg and his sister inherit the building; Greg and his family move into his father's old apartment, and Greg and his sister want to raise the rent on the dressmaker. They justify this by saying "the neighborhood is changing" and, as with many families, although Greg's family has gotten an apartment to live in, the sister wants her share of the inheritance. (Now you'd think that the obvious way to solve this is to do what most people do: buy the sister out. In other words, instead of a "free" apartment, Greg K. should be paying his sister a monthly "rent" until she has gotten her half of the inheritance. But no, that seems not to have occurred to anyone. And of course Greg had been paying rent before, so....) The dressmaker simply doesn't have enough money. And by the end of the movie, she's gone. Probably to some Booklyn sweatshop to end her days in misery. Terrific.
Throughout the movies we are told about Greg's faults: he doesn't contribute enough money to household expenses--although his wife doesn't seem to mind. He has a hard time making friends. Yup, that's pretty clear from his relationship with the dressmaker. But how all this fits together and how it makes sense of the movie is a mystery.
The boys become friends quickly. They seem to part just as quickly at the end. Is this what the movie is trying (unsuccessfully) to say? That friendship is fleeting? That it's rare? Who knows.
To me, a movie should start at point A, go to point B, and along the way you should have some internally logical action. Here we have a movie that starts at point A--the death of the father-- but then meanders all over the place. None of the action is fantastic, it's all logically possible, but it's random. There's no discernible point to it all.
So if you like movie that ramble all over the place and make you leave the theater saying "What was that all about?" this is the movie for you.