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Stars: Regina King, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Tone Bell, Justin Hartley, Marley Taylor

Director: Tina Gordon

As age-reversal comedies go, Big was certainly big. Little, its black cousin, is, well 'little' is putting it mildly, weighed down as it is by clunky dialogue and indifferent direction.

Bullied at school, Jordan (King) has grown up to be determinedly successful and the boss everyone hates, even requiring that her coffee be a certain distance from the edge of the desk. Her much-put-upon assistant April (Rae) is, of course, first in the line of fire.

But when Jordan mistreats a small girl (Taylor) and the latter waves a wand at her and wishes she were taken back to childhood, her 13-year-old self (Martin) wakes to find the curse well and truly upon her - although she still wants to boss everyone around and hates the idea of April taking her to school.

Yes it's ridiculous, but Big and some of its successors had charm, whereas this one, even though the kid is good, has none. When the kidult comes on to grown men she fancies, it's vaguely stomach-turning.

Given dialogue that would make most actors struggle - 'Now I know I can win and still be me', says King at the end, while April ogles her now-little boss's muscular boyfriend (Bell) and tells him 'I'm April. A for available' (ouch!) - King and Rae give stridently over-pitched performances that rob their characters of any fun - or our sympathy; while director Gordon seems unable to rein her cast in. It's brain-numbingly bad - although the 12A certificate does seem a bit harsh.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by Fotokem.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

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

Review date: 10 Apr 2019