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Little Manhattan (2005)


Little Manhattan posterTen-year-old Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) finds his first love when he meets his former kindergarten mate, the eleven-year-old Rosemary (Charlie Ray), in his karate classes. Confused by his new feelings and with the divorce process of his beloved parents, Leslie (Cynthia Nixon) and Adam (Bradley Whitford), he experiences the delightful unknown sensation of being in love for the first time.

It’s a shame Little Manhattan did not receive the attention that it deserved. It performed VERY poorly at the box office when it was released in 2005, and grossed just over $1,000,000.  The production budget was never released, but I’m more than sure they lost a substantial amount of money on this film

Personally I think Little Manhattan is a fantastic film and a great look into that age when an interest in girls is such a new and scary transition and I think they captured that moment so well.  And let’s face it, who hasn’t been through that stage? Even if you didn’t get the girl, EVERYONE has been in that situation where they have been madly in love with someone for the first time, and I think it’s a moment that most of us hold for the rest of our lives.

The actorsTwo young people find love in New York City

I’ve watched this film twice, and each time I took notice of the quality in direction.  Mark Levin is obviously a very meticulous director, capturing very small moments and reactions that really draw you into the situation of the scene.  It’s a pity he has not made much since (Nims Island being his only other directing title) because I think he has a really good eye for these small moments. I hope the fact that Little Manhattan flopped has not affected his career.

Never had I been so keenly aware of the ability of palm to manufacture sweat, but I was determined to hold that girl’s hand for every single second

Josh Hutcherson is adorably great in his role, and it has been interesting watching him grow up on the screen. He has an amazing talent and I think he will be a great performer for a very long time. He was so innocent in this role, yet really showed a great deal of maturity in his acting ability. Charlie Ray is also very good in her role.

This film also captures the great essence of childhood and the perception of the children’s surroundings — their neighborhood. A town or city is a child’s playground and I thought this was handled in a sincere and realistic manner.

Little Manhattan is a really good film that, again, deserved a lot more attention than it received.

The actors in Little Manhattan (2005)
Little Manhattan (2005)
In short
A fantastic film that unfortunately deserved a lot more attention than it got upon its release.
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  1. I remember watching this in the movie theater and then getting the DVD, I though it was Josh Hutcherson first film, but he already played in 4 or 5 other films smaller roles of course. Great movie for kids around this age, it really captures the struggle of being a boy falling in love.

  2. No worries SkyKid. I’m really glad you enjoyed it as much as me :)

    You have given me so many films that I have loved, so I am able to give one to you now.

    I completly agree with all your comments, especially the point of the city being a character in itself. That is wonderfully highlighted throughout the film, and I think it gave a real sense of magic to the NYC, especially because it is seen through the eyes of a child.

    I’m glad you were able to find an emotional connection with the story through nostalgia as well. I’m sure everyone has been through these moments, as I mentioned in my review, but it seems like these particular moments have sparked some great memories for you.

    Anyway, Those who haven’t seen it, I highly reccommend it. :)

  3. First love…Precious Memories….seriously PhoenixEast I can`t thank you enough for writing this review and making me discover me such a wonderful coming of age movie. I just saw it and when the final credits roll – I was ready to do standing ovations. Speaking of the film as a film I fully agree with you on your remark for the excellent directing – so much meaning hidden in the little things – just like in the real life.

    And New York – I never managed to visit the city myself – but after seeing the film I feel like I have been shown its most wonderful face – the city felt like a character in the film. I loved and soundtrack too  and boy Josh Hutcherson was amazing – he did such a wonderful portrayal of adolescent love and the feelings and confusions associated with it – I was blown away ….and felt like I was re – living my own first love experiences trough him – yes that`s what the good coming of age movies achieve. 

    I am also glad that the story had its twist that went along with the reality – as at one time I hoped that the whole experience would be blown away by a cliche ending – and am glad that I was proven wrong.

    Like most people I also remember my first love – same age as the girl in the film as a matter of fact and trough our story was unique in its own way – I saw so much of it in this film. Eventually things became complicated …and now ten or so years later “my “girl” still means as much for me as she did back then ( yeah you might call it pathetic ).

    By the way I have seen the film`s cover back in time – but sometimes when I am not drawn to the cover instantly I skip the film and then forget about it – I must have missed quite a few great titles because of that – which only confirms that its never too late for one to learn.

    I highly recommend the film. I loved it and am sure that any fan of the coming of age genre would love it as well.


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