‘Black-ish’ star producing debut brings a different flavor to a classic movie trope
Well this movie is pretty big to be called “Little” as it not only stars but is Marsai Martin’s producing debut making her the youngest executive producer in Hollywood history, and she does not disappoint.
Tackling the movie classic trope of a body-swapped person gaining a chance at redemption during their coming of age moment in life, the story follows tech giant and boss from hell Jordan Sanders (Regina Hall) who wakes up one day in her 13-year-old body. Now stuck in the body of a child she is left to rely on the kindness of her often mistreated, yet talented, assistant April (Issa Rae) to help her get back to normal. Like most movies of this genre, through a strange turn of events must go back to the very place that defined her mean-girl attitude…middle school.
All of this while fighting to save her company from losing their biggest client with the timid April having to step out of her comfort zone and take charge.
Well for the most part it follows the formula of a wrong body comedy however, the key ingredients make for a most entertaining experience dipped in Black Girl Magic.
It featured comical back and forth exchanges between April and Jordan which made the selling of a grown woman being stuck in the body of a preteen perfect as Martin had no problem playing the role. The ‘Black-ish’ star doesn’t show any signs of childish insecurity in playing someone twice her age and was able to capture all the charisma, charm, and sass of her adult persona. The chemistry between Martin and Rae was a great mix of awkward and hilarious as April would visibly forget that it’s Sanders is trapped in the body of a child.
There was no over thought out script ploy to force a Black identity, it just came naturally…and felt natural too. It also showcased black females with positions in the STEM industry, without the albeit “white savior” role saving the day serving as more of an antagonist this time around.
The big take away from this film is to never be afraid to be you, not only in the plot but the character design. The fashion choices were bold and the film featured the female cast rocking natural hairstyles with accompanying vernacular found in Black culture…done the right way.
The film is a refreshing take on growing up and finding what makes you special. The redemption aspect was a natural process that was earnest and heartwarming. The cast was a joy and has the makings of a classic movie you could watch over again and again.
Congrats Marsai Martin, can’t wait to see what else you dream up.