Little Men (2016)
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Little Men Theatrical Review
When Brian Jardine's (Greg Kinnear; Little Miss Sunshine) father passes away, he moves his family into his childhood home in Brooklyn. His son, Jake (Theo Taplizt; Sorry to Say), isn't too eager to move, but soon finds a friend in Tony (Michael Barbieri; Killer). As their friendship grows and each boy thrives, their parents' feud also grows, creating tension for everyone involved.
Brian's father not only owned and lived in a house in Brooklyn, he owned the shop below that he rented to Tony's mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia; The 33). When Brian and his sister decide to raise Leonor's rent in order to cover operating costs, a silent war begins among the adults. While the adults try not to involve the boys, they can't contain the anger as their conflict comes to a head.
While only an hour and a half long, Little Men is packed full of meaning and emotions. The boy's friendship is joyous and fruitful, only to be spoiled by the actions of their parents. Their creative energies make for some interesting, happy moments before the fighting tears their bond apart.
The adults' tentative friendship breaks apart when the legal issues over the store and the rent begins, and while they try to shield the boys from their issues, it slowly creeps into their everyday lives. When the conflict comes to a head, it destroys the boys' bond irreversibly.
The cast is the real gem of the movie. Kinnear is touching as the sensitive father who is a minimally successful actor unable to provide for his family. Garcia is terrific as the single mother who is fighting to save her livelihood with biting words and silent facial expressions that say more than any dialogue could. Taplitz and Barbieri show a level of maturity that belies their young ages. They are talented individuals who will hopefully continue to grow and polish their skills.
Sachs takes a sensitive subject matter and intertwines it with human nature to make for a complex plot and unique storyline. His writing and directing are fascinating and thoughtful and he shows the world a perspective we may not want so see, but are too interested in to turn away.
Though short, Little Men is powerful. It makes one think and feel. It will anger its audience, while impressing them with its cinematic beauty. Worth watching, Little Men is sure to please it's audience.
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