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Film / Little (2019)

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Little is a fantasy comedy film starring Regina Hall, Issa Rae, and Marsai Martin. It was co-written and directed by Tina Golden.

Jordan Sanders (Hall) is a rich and powerful tech mogul who makes life hell for those working for her, most notably her eternally beleaguered assistant April (Rae). Just as the pressures of adulthood are becoming too much to bear, Jordan offends a little girl who wishes that she herself was little again. And the next morning, Jordan wakes up in the body of her thirteen-year-old self (Martin). Now Jordan has to seek April's help in learning how to reverse the curse while getting a chance to re-live her preteen years.

Little provides examples of:

  • The '90s: Jordan's childhood flashback takes place in 1993 with the kids and adults in flashy, grunge, and hip hop inspired fashions with layers and patterned vests. There are all sorts of references made to the hip hop and R&B tunes of the era and even some of the fashions of the present-day call back to the decade.
  • '90s Hair: The flashback features dreadlocks, beaded and braided hair, high topped fades, mullets, and heavy bangs.
  • Abusive Parents: Jordan is believed to being one when the female neighbor from across the hall mistakes Jordan (in her younger self body) as a neglected child of Jordan's. This causes her to have reason to phone child protective services.
  • Actor Allusion: Tracee Ellis Ross voiced Homegirl in the movie. She also plays Marsai Martin's (little Jordan) mother on Black-ish.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: The magician girl.
  • Adults Are Useless: No adults ever intervene to stop the kids from bullying Jordan (except for Mr. Marshall, Jordan’s teacher). Jasmine even blatantly sabotages Jordan's talent show entry in front of entire school without anyone making a peep.
  • An Aesop: A few:
    • Be Yourself. Be the best person you can be.
    • Stay true to who you really are.
    • Don't pass on what was done to you.
    • Not everybody is out to get/hurt you.
    • Stand up for yourself.
  • Alpha Bitch: Jasmine is this towards Jordan and some of the other kids.
  • Bad Boss: Jordan is incredibly nasty to all of her workers.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Poor April feels like this towards Jordan.
  • Berserk Button: Leaving food with lots of carbs around the company building is a good way to piss off Jordan. However, she makes a rare exception at the near end of the movie when she gives food loaded with carbs to her employees.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: At the near end of the film, April has had it with Jordan's jerkass attitude and stands up to her. She even quits her job.
  • Be Yourself: A moral of this film.
  • Blatant Lies: When Jordan asks April if she’s being unreasonable, April mouths “yes, bitch!” then she proceeds to say “no.”
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Even after being turned into a kid, Jordan still acts like a mouthy, spoiled brat to everyone. April even spanks her because of her attitude.
  • Break the Haughty: Jordan is set to receive this when she is magically transformed to a 13 year old child.
  • The Bully:
    • Jordan is this towards everyone around her.
    • Some of the kids at Jordan's middle school can be this to the latter.
  • Bully Magnet: Jordan was an easy target for bullying in middle school because of her love of science and how she looked. This is what led to her bullying her employees. She becomes this again when she's magically aged back into a middle schooler and the kids bully her for her natural hair and clothes.
  • Comically Missing the Point: April tells kid Jordan to do something different as a teenager. Jordan responds by saying “botox.”
  • Cool Car: Jordan has one. April can't even figure out how to start it.
  • Deconstruction: This film deconstructs the following tropes.
    • The Beleaguered Assistant trope. April had taken a lot of crap from Jordan as an assistant. Jordan never once gave her credit even when April was doing her job correctly. At the near end of the film, April gets fed up and lets Jordan know how she and her coworkers really feel about her and April even quits her job out of anger. This becomes reconstructed when April does get re-hired by Jordan and Jordan becomes a much better boss towards her.
    • The Bully Magnet trope is also deconstructed. Since Jordan was a target of bullying back in middle school, this made her vow to never become a target again by hurting others before they can hurt her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jordan yells and acts incredibly nasty towards her employees over menial infractions, such as leaving carb-loaded food over her meeting rooms. She even assaults one of her employees by knocking on her head as if she was a door.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Jordan (as a child) tries to push the same boy she pushed as an adult, only for him to push her back, causing her to fall on the floor.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Jordan took her parents encouragement that as an adult she'll be too big to suffer bullying anymore to mean that when she's big she'll be able to do the bullying.
  • The Dreaded: All the workers panic in fear whenever they hear that Jordan is approaching. When Jordan would enter meeting rooms, people would just get up and leave.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Jordan does this intentionally with her vehicle, inconveniencing other drivers.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: April mentions that she didn’t feel she didn’t get the recognition she felt she deserved for being Jordan’s assistant. Jordan makes up for this by promoting April at the end of the movie.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Jordan is transformed back into an adult and she becomes a lot nicer to everyone.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: April and Jordan actively ogle both Mr. Marshall and Jordan's stripteasing boyfriend. With Mr. Marshall, the male principal joins in.
  • Expy: “HomeGirl” is an obvious parody of Alexa.
  • Extreme Doormat: April is afraid of standing up to her jerkass boss. She does stand up to Jordan in the climax when she's already transformed into a child.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Even the bald male principal swoons over Mr. Marshal.
  • Fille Fatale: Jordan unintentionally comes off as this when she starts hitting on her school teacher and grown up boyfriend Trevor. Both are disturbed by this. Justified since she is a 38-year-old woman trapped in the body of a 13-year-old girl.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why Jordan is an obnoxious bitch to others is because she still has issues from being bullied in middle school.
  • Friendless Background: Jordan doesn’t have any friends. It wasn’t her fault in middle school, but it’s her own doing as an adult.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Jordan Saunders went from a bullied middle school girl to a hateful bullying boss.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jordan Sanders' name, which is a popular unisex name.
  • Gold Digger: Invoked. Jordan (as a kid) accuses her boyfriend of being this.
  • Groin Attack: The poor boy accidentally gets hit in the groin during an audition for the middle school talent show.
  • Hot Teacher: Mr. Marshall, the middle school teacher who Jordan hits on.
  • I Am the Noun: Mean girl Jasmine says this when her teacher threatens to cancel Spirit Day due to her bullying.
    Jasmine: I am Spirit Day!
  • Insufferable Genius: Jordan is intelligent, but she comes off as an arrogant bitch.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: This was one of the reasons why Jordan was an outcast in middle school. She was too interested in science, and the kids picked on her for it. In fact, this movie deconstructs it, as Jordan grows up to be an asshole herself and she stops attempting to fit in with people.
  • It's All About Me: Jordan has this issue about thinking too much about herself. April calls her out on it.
  • Jerkass:
    • Jordan is arrogant, loud, bossy, obnoxious, unnecessarily rude, and treats her assistant and employees like crap.
    • The kids at Jordan’s old middle school can be this, but Jasmine stands out the most.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While it didn’t excuse Jordan snapping at April, Jordan did that because she feared that April was trying to take her role in the company. April even sympathizes with Jordan a bit.
  • Jerkass to One: The kids at Windsor Middle School can be this, but they are the nastiest to Jordan.
  • Karma Houdini: The Alpha Bitch cheerleader who bullied Jordan doesn't receive any type of comeuppance for her actions.
  • Karmic Transformation: Jordan is transformed into what she hates, which was back into the, powerless, helpless middle school girl she was in middle school, just so she can learn a lesson.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The kids at Jordan's old middle school taunt Jordan endlessly.
  • Kick the Dog: Jordan tells the magician girl that there’s no such thing in magic.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: By being transformed into a child, Jordan can no longer treat her employees and assistant like crap and gets a taste of her own medicine.
  • Mean Boss: Jordan towards her employees and assistant.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jordan's boyfriend has a few shirtless scenes. Even his genitals were exposed in one scene, but it was censored.
  • Mugging the Monster: Jordan does this to a little girl who ends up wishing Jordan was little again.
  • Nice Girl: April is sweet and friendly towards everyone she talks to.
  • Older Than They Look: Jordan is an adult in the body of a child.
  • Precocious Crush: Downplayed and subverted. Jordan develops this for Mr. Marshall, her middle school teacher, but she has the mentality of an adult. Furthermore Mr. Marshall is appropriately freaked out by a little girl hitting on him.
  • Rage Breaking Point: April had tolerated Jordan until the climax of the film in which April was accused of trying to take Jordan's place. April then understandably lashes out at Jordan, unleashes a "Reason You Suck" Speech towards Jordan, and quits her job.
  • Rage Quit: April understandably quits her job when she and Jordan get into a heated argument over the latter's bad attitude.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the climax of the film, April gets fed up with Jordan's jerkass attitude and allows the latter to know how everyone feels about her.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jordan is definitely the red to April's blue oni. Jordan is abrasive, rude, and bossy while April is calm, reasonable, and polite to everyone.
  • Shout-Out: When Jordan yells “you get a doughnut!”, it was a shoutout of the iconic scene in Oprah.
    • The teacher at Jordan's school shares a name with director Garry Marshall. Garry Marshall's sister, Penny Marshall, directed Big, with which this movie has a similar premise.
    • When Jordan makes her entrance at the office building, there is a clear parallel between a similar scene in The Devil Wears Prada. The same score from that scene can also be heard in this scene.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Jordan is revealed to be like this.
  • Snarky Inanimate Object: HomeGirl, the hair model expy of “Alexa” is this.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Big. It's basically the reverse. Instead of a kid stumbling his way through an adult's world, it's an adult stumbling her way through a child's.
  • Spoiled Brat: Jordan acts like this towards everyone.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The song "I Wish" by Skee-Lit starts playing in the film's opening flashback depicting Jordan's bullying ordeal at her school play and her wishing to be big and rich one day.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Jordan went from being an arrogant, jerkass boss to a nice woman after going through Laser-Guided Karma and discovering who she truly is.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Jordan, with the body of a 13-year old girl but the mentality of an adult comes off as this. First, her vocabulary containing curse words, being left alone, bossing others around, drinking coffee, getting drunk on alcohol, ordering takeout at school, ordering medium rare meat for a afternoon lunch at a restaurant, attempting to "steal" some car keys (hers) and drive a car, and hitting on both her school teacher and grown adult boyfriend who are appropriately freaked out.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the beginning, Jordan's parents give her a pep talk on how she'll be big and rich one day so no one can bully her anymore. While they meant well, unfortunately Jordan takes this the wrong way and decides no one will bully her when she's big and rich...because she'll be bullying them first.
  • Womanchild: Despite being a successful adult, Jordan still acts like a spoiled preteen who throws tantrums whenever she doesn't get what she wants. This is implied she never actually matured during her time as a child. She grows out of this at the end of the movie, though.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The boy who Jordan pushed out the way as an adult retaliates by pushing Jordan back when the latter pushes him as a kid.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jordan (as an adult) has no problems shoving a child out of her way.

Alternative Title(s): Little