Little Men (2016)
Starring Greg Kinnear, Paulina García, Jennifer Ehle, Theo Taplitz, and Michael Barbieri
Directed by Ira Sachs
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Following the death of his grandfather, thirteen year-old Jake (Theo Taplitz), his father Brian (Greg Kinnear), and mother Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) move into the Brooklyn apartment they inherited. Their abode is located above storefront which Jake's grandfather rented out to Leonor (Paulina García) whose son Tony (Michael Barbieri) becomes fast friends with Jake despite their very different personalities. When Brian discovers that his father was charging a very low rent to Leonor, he decides that he has no choice but to increase her monthly fee which unfortunately she is not able to pay, creating inevitable tension between the two sets of parents and leading them to forbid their children from seeing one another.
Young Taplitz and Barbieri have a nice chemistry with one another as best friends with Barbieri's brazen, no-nonsense New York attitude the highlight of the film. However, even at 85 minutes, Little Men just drags with much too little dramatic gravitas to land successfully. Sure, there's "story" here, but its slice-of-life nature didn't land with this reviewer in a way that caused me to really be invested in the characters. While Sachs' film admittedly feels realistic, it never feels well-rounded and its conclusion left me with a "That's all?"-type feeling, irritating me that I gave the flick even the short amount of time that I did.
The RyMickey Rating: C-