Written for families, the film doesn’t have any adult situations, and only a few mild curses.  Thankfully, it also doesn’t hinge upon the ridiculous plot contortions which hamper adult romantic comedies, making them so absurd and, ironically, so childish.  Instead, “Little Manhattan’s” plot development relies on the meanderings of human emotion, especially during adolescence.  We empathize with Gabe and Rosemary, and his parents.  And we believe in them.

Hutcherson does a decent job with his role, making us root for him (although his one crying scene was very forced).  Newcomer Charlie Ray is excellent, striking the right chord as a young girl on the cusp of womanhood.  Nixon and Whitford also give strong performances as Gabe’s loving, but not overly intrusive, parents.  And Wille Garson, another “Sex in the City” refugee, makes an appearance as well, as the (heterosexual) elevator man.

This is a romantic comedy, but it’s not about kids.  It’s about love.  As Gabe says, at the end, “Love isn’t about silly little words.  It’s about going the extra mile, even when it hurts.  It’s about letting it all hang out.  It’s about finding courage inside of you, even you didn’t know it was there.”

“Little Manhattan” is not a film that offers profound insights into life, but it does remind us that sometimes, answers are much easier than we think.  It will also take you back to that terrible, wonderful time when you were just starting to discover – and believe in – love, for the very first time.

Starring Josh Hutcherson, Charlie Ray, Cynthia Nixon, Bradley Whitford and Willie Garson, "Little Manhattan" releases on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on Tuesday, April 4, 2006.  Click here for more information.