‘Little’ goes a long way

There are numerous points throughout “Little Children” in which the affair between Kate Winslet’s Sarah Pierce and Patrick Wilson’s Brad Adamson is threatened to be discovered. In these scattered moments, it is clearly visible that the film has accomplished a lot in making the audience sympathetic towards the two main characters and is essentially rooting for something society deems as wrong to succeed.

The reason this works is because of the way these characters are initially developed. This is easily the best thing the film has going for it, as the characters become more than just people in a movie.

In an innovative move, the film, based on the Tom Perrotta novel of the same name, decides to use the voice of Will Lyman in order to narrate the story. What this does is allow the viewers to get a back-story on the characters in a way other than dialogue, making the film’s depiction of a trapped suburban life more realistic without sacrificing the details that make audiences clamor to certain characters.

Brad Adamson is for the most part a failure. His wife, the bread-winner of the family, expects him to be more adult-like than he is. Sarah Pierce is a stay-at-home mom with a rude and neglectful husband that forces her to frequently interact with their pre-kindergarten-aged daughter – so much so that she has begun to despise her motherly duties.

As the two meet for the first time while playing with their children at a playground, Sarah is dared by three of her fellow mothers to get Brad’s phone number because they don’t have the nerve to ask him for themselves. In an attempt to stick it to the three ladies, Sarah spontaneously and innocently enough kissed Brad. But a kiss is never just a kiss, and from there sparks fly and a bond is formed.

But that’s about all the film contains as far as clichés are concerned. The film does an amazing job of learning from other films in which their main characters are trapped and actually makes its two characters deserving of an audience’s emotional connection.

“Little Children” is an amazing movie and is definitely in the top 10 for the best movies of 2006. On the surface, some may see it as just a film about forbidden love. To describe it as such wouldn’t be at all detrimental, because the film constructs that portion of the film extremely well. But it’s not the only thing it puts together flawlessly.

– Scott Hansen