Directed by Ira Sachs, Little Men stars Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina García, and Alfred Molina. The movie is an in-depth look at the innocence of young relationships and the inevitable evolution of human connections.
The riveting drama delivers a heartfelt narrative through Theo Taplitz and Michael Barbieri as Jake Jardine and Tony Calvelli in their unforgettable performances, truly make the movie worthwhile to watch.
When a 13-year-old, played by Taplitz, grandfather dies, Jake’s family moves from Manhattan back into his father’s Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony, played by Barbieri, whose single, Chilean mother Leonor, played by Garcia, runs the dress shop downstairs.
Jake’s parents Brian, played by Kinnear, and Kathy, played by Ehle, ask Leonor to pay a higher rent and a feud ignites between the adults. The boys take an oath of silence against their parents in protest. From there the story is endearing. Sachs coats the movie with humanism and insight, as the story is about life-defining friendship amid family turmoil.
An interesting aspect of the story is Jake’s father, Brian, when he learns that his late father’s a small business was not profitable. He can’t continue the same business practice. As a result, there is deep-rooted tension with him and the owner of the business that is renting from him. The fact that his son is best friends with the owner’s son is even more intense.
This story is true and could happen to anyone. Thus, it will make viewers think about morality or what is right or wrong when it comes to making a living and surviving. A smart business person would raise the rent because why suffer.
Still, the whole story of the adult’s and the kid’s relationships are real and honestly looked at as the characters come to terms with the situation.
The movie needs more upbeat moments to appreciate the low points in the movie. Too much angst and not enough smiles and joy. The abrupt ending could have played out a bit more with the whole story coming to a happy ending.
The two young boys are amazing on screen and worth watching if you want to see some fine talent.