The concept behind Little may not be a new one, but it’s certainly been given a fresh spin in the movie starring Black-ish tween star Marsai Martin.

Interestingly thirteen year old Martin is the brains behind Little, making her the youngest executive producer in Hollywood history. Reminiscent of films, such as Big and Suddenly 30, Little tells the story of tech tycoon Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) who, despite being bullied as a teen, rose up through the business world with no-holds-barred approach towards her employees.

An embittered Sanders – on the brink of a make or break deal – comes across a young teen who challenges her on her wicked ways, and performs a magic trick… hey presto, the sophisticated businesswoman morphs into her teenage self (played by Martin). By reverting to her tween form, Saunders must confront the childhood demons which led to her hardened existence in adulthood.

There are moments where Little is outright ridiculous, but therein lies its charm. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Yes, for the most part, the acting is achingly overdone, but Martin is an absolute star. She carries all the sass and charisma of the older Jordan Sanders, but in a 13-year-old form.

There are a number of gags that challenge the stereotypes around young black women, and Little is largely a film of female empowerment, supported by an all-black female lead cast. The fact that, at 13, Martin herself is the driving force behind the film is pretty exceptional to say the least.

With the school holidays coming up, Little will certainly be a winner amongst teenage audiences. It is light-hearted fare with a powerful, yet subtle underlying message, and a welcome display of diversity within the tween genre.

Little opens tomorrow and is screening at a number of cinemas, including GU Film House Adelaide, Event Cinemas Marion and Wallis Theatres at Noarlunga and Mount Barker.

3.5 stars

By Rachel Gould