HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Little Manhattan young hearts run free
Year: 2005
Director: Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Charlie Ray, Bradley Whitford, Cynthia Nixon, Willie Garson, Tonye Patano, J. Kyle Manzay, Josh Pais, John Dossett, Talia Balsam, Jonah Meyerson, Michael Bush, Brian W. Aguiar, Nick Cubbler, Anthony Laflamme
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) is your average 10 ¾ year old boy. Good at sports, likes hanging out with his friends, and avoids girls like the plague. Until he meets 11 year old Rosemary (Charlie Ray), a former kindergarten mate, in karate class and falls head over heels, hopelessly in love. Completely confused over his strange, new feelings and with the awkward divorce between his loving parents, Adam (Bradley Whitford) and Leslie (Cynthia Nixon), Gabe experiences the thrill, heartbreak, and giddy delights of being in love for the first time.

Jaded with typical, Hollywood rom-coms? Watch this whip-smart and sassy children’s film and see how a great love story should be done. Thoughtful, honest and thoroughly engaging, Little Manhattan has been called Woody Allen for kids by some, but the warmth, wit and wisdom on display are closer to Eric Rohmer or the unsentimental tenderness of François Truffaut. Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett punctuate the story with fantasies: a literal iron curtain coming down between boys and girls, billboards that show Gabe’s thoughts, a map of New York comes to life, a skyscraper transforms into a flying, pirate ship; but what impresses most is his near-painfully accurate portrayal of first love.

Bright, funny and way better than him at karate, Rosemary sparks something in Gabe’s heart. The moment he sees her in a lavender dress, she leaps from being third prettiest girl in class to number one, the only one. Gabe’s heart won’t stop pounding. He gets clumsy and tongue-tied around her. Loiters outside her apartment all day waiting to see her. Then runs away when he does. Love becomes an embarrassing, agonising affliction (“A pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone”), going from frustrated attempts to ask Rosemary out (“It was easier scheduling Arab-Israeli peace talks than getting a date with this girl”), the ecstasy of being near her (“Smelling her smell - what is that, strawberry?”), to frenzied jealousy when a handsome rival (Anthony Laflamme) becomes her new sparring partner (“Great, my woman is sparring with Ashton Kutcher!”).

A dreamy, endless summer in picture perfect New York provides a wonderful backdrop enhanced by an outstanding soundtrack (Etta James, Elvis Presley, cool jazz, summery sixties pop). The ongoing banter between Gabe and Rosemary crackles like the classic rom-coms of yesteryear, with Hutcherson displaying the charisma that blazed even brighter in Bridge to Terabithia (2007) and sweet smiling Charlie Ray showing great promise. Their hesitant courtship moves from practicing karate alongside an imaginary martial arts expert dispensing advice (“Kiss her! Trust me, it’s not gross”), holding hands in a pastoral idyll, and kicking the crap out of a hulking bully, and never descends to the sappy or saccharine. Rosemary and Gabe’s first kiss is perfectly pitched - awkward, momentous, confusing, and over way too fast.

Warm, amiable support from The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford and Sex & the City’s Cynthia Nixon emboldens a crucial sub-plot. What Gabe learns from his parent’s mistakes rings true. Things we leave unsaid make the difference between a failed relationship and the greatest love of your life. The outstanding finale involves a dejected Rosemary at her aunt’s wedding, Gabe racing to be at her side, and a slow dance to Nat King Cole. It’s exhilarating, romantic and we know they’re meant to be together, except… Levin and Flackett aren’t peddling treacle here. He reminds us just how young these kids are. Little Manhattan doesn’t offer us a sugar-coated ending, but does impart a note of hope. You never forget your first love.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4105 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: