So, although the audience at my screening apparently appreciated all the venereal, homophobic, fart, feces, urination, and swift kick to the crotch sequences, this critic couldnâ€™t find anything about this creepy retread to recommend to my readers
(Our reviewer wasn't impressed by the Little Man on the right)
For White Chicks, Shawn and Marlon Wayans dressed in drag and donned whiteface to play FBI Agents undercover as dumb-blonde debutantes. In Little Man, another freaky farce directed by their big brother Keenen, only Marlon appears in an elaborate disguise. This slap-happy misadventure features him as a foul-mouthed midget masquerading as a baby in order to retrieve a pilfered diamond from a childless couple.
The pictureâ€™s plotline is a slight variation of Free Eats (1932), the Little Rascals classic about a pair of â€œfidgetâ€? conmen who decide to relieve some compassionate society women of their jewelry by posing as adoptable infants. Free Eats, by the way, marked the introduction of the character Spanky, though it starred an exasperated Stymie, supposedly an inveterate liar, telling the truth for the first time as his dire warnings about the dudes in diapers fell on deaf ears.
Little Man is also suspiciously similar to Baby Buggy Bunny (1954), a Bugs Bunny cartoon which relied on essentially the same theme. Here, as the movie opens, we find pint-sized Calvin (Marlon Wayans) partnered with Percy (Tracy Morgan) and about to steal the priceless jewel. But the robbery goes wrong and the two part company in a convenience store. As he is about to be caught by the cops, Calvin surreptitiously slips the stone into the pocketbook of Vanessa Edwards (Kerry Washington) a customer shopping with her husband, Darryl (Shawn Wayans).
As luck would have it, the Edwards have been trying to have a child, which makes them open to the idea of caring for Calvin when Percy leaves him on their doorstep in swaddling clothes with a note pinned to his diaper. Darryl talks his hesitant wife into taking the tot in, thus enabling this over-the-top shock comedy to embark into uncharted comedy waters where we find some unseemly sexual and bodily-function humor.
For instance, under the guise of being a baby, Calvin proceeds to feel up one of Vanessaâ€™s friendâ€™s mammaries, to suckle anotherâ€™s breasts, and to have sex with his adoptive Momma herself. While Darryl remains clueless about the true nature of the impersonator, his father-in-law (John Witherspoon), ala Stymie, figures out the ruse, but, alas, his complaints are conveniently ignored.
While this is admittedly a gross-out flick, thereâ€™s something about a dwarf tongue kissing, molesting and mating with unsuspecting women that struck me as just a little too gross. So, although the audience at my screening apparently appreciated all the venereal, homophobic, fart, feces, urination, and swift kick to the crotch sequences, this critic couldnâ€™t find anything about this creepy retread to recommend to my readers besides Kerry Washington and some seamless special effects.
Fair (1 star).
Rated PG-13 for profanity, drug and alcohol abuse, slapstick violence, crude humor, and pervasive sexual references. Running time: 97 minutes. Studio: Columbia Pictures
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