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Little Man

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
Little Man
from Film Forum, 07/20/06

Honey, he shrunk his brother!

In the comedy Little Man, through the magic of special effects, director Keenen Ivory Wayans has miniaturized his brother Marlon Wayans, turning him into a pint-sized jewel thief named Calvin Sims. When a heist goes wrong, this mini-burglar runs off with his lame-brained partner Percy (Tracy Morgan). Eventually, Calvin goes after one of the diamonds that was fumbled during the heist. In order to retrieve it from a woman's handbag, he poses as an abandoned baby, and allows himself to be parented by a childless couple (Shawn Wayans and Kerry Washington).

Are you laughing? Neither are the critics.

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says it's "about as much fun as a bad case of diaper rash. … What could have been a serviceable farce with a sentimental plug for parenthood is instead a one-joke blunder full of infantile slapstick and crass sight gags that play to diminishing returns."

Adam R. Holz (Plugged In) was surprised by "a generally positive picture of marriage, motherhood and fatherhood," but even so he's dismayed to find that "the movie's positive emphasis on family still gets clobbered by its infatuation with extreme crudity and gross innuendoes."

Mainstream critics are wondering how such an infantile comedy made it to the big screen.

© Jeffrey Overstreet 2006, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.