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Little Men


Stars: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri, Pauline Garcia, Alfred Molina, Talia Balsam

Director: Ira Sachs

This New York indie drama has all too little to offer. Actor Brian Jardine (Kinnear) and his psychiatrist wife Kathy (Ehle) inherit a Manhattan apartment (and the dress shop below) when his father dies - to be owned jointly with a sister (Balsam). The Jardines move in with their artistically talented son Jake (Taplitz).

Previously a loner, Jake makes friends with Tony (Barbieri), whose mother Leonor (Garcia) runs the shop. The snag is that Leonor, who implies she was the dead man's mistress, has been paying peppercorn rent, and the Jardines need to triple it to make ends meet and satisfy Brian's sister.

Director Sachs resorts to sometimes desperate measures to stretch this thin storyline to feature length. So almost every scene goes on longer than it should; a disco sequence in particular drags on forever and adds nothing to the narrative. And the dialogue seems improvised in places, not helping a dull, repetitive and meandering scenario.

None of the characters here is particularly likeable, making the film difficult to bond with at any time, while Britain's talented Ehle is once again cruelly wasted.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Altitude. Colour by AbelCine.
85 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 18 Sep 2016