Little Manhattan
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +1

Josh Hutcherson, Charlie Ray, Cynthia Nixon, Bradley Whitford. Written by Jennifer Flackett. Directed by Mark Levin.

Fox Home Entertainment releases this comic coming-of-age adventure direct to DVD on April 4. The family film is somewhat nostalgic and always respectful of the innocence of children as it follows two friends, 10-year-old Gabe (Josh Hutcherson Zathura, Kicking and Screaming), and 11-year-old Rosemary (newcomer Charlie Ray) going through the ups and downs of first love. Gabe and Rosemary have known each other nearly all their lives, but when they come face-to-face in a karate class, they begin seeing one another in a whole new light.

Director Mark Levin, who co-produced The Wonder Years, had an effective gimmick for his TV series. Its creators set the show in the late 06s, the youngsters having to cope with the differences between boys and girls in a time of hippy rebellion and Viet Nam angst. Here, the gimmick is having the kids roaming New York City, while dealing with budding feelings for those who until recently were the carriers of cooties.

Not in the same league as the first season of the Emmy-winning Wonder Years, this direct-to-DVD family adventure is nonetheless a funny, often touching look at the matters of the preteen heart. Aided by whimsical narration and packed with classic tunes that capture the essence of NY City, Little Manhattan reminds adults of their first loves while addressing curious feelings adolescent boys have for these strange creatures with long hair and short skirts.

Little Manhattan is offered in both widescreen and fullscreen versions with closed captions and director/writer commentary, deleted scenes, three featurettes, and more.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment

Summary
Crude Language: The word sucks is used twice indicating the frustrations of young love. In a fantasy scene, boys in class, contaminated with cooties, get sick and we see projectile vomiting on the girls sitting in front of them. Intended to be funny, the scene is gross.
Obscene Language: Though there is no harsh language, there are a couple of expressions such as What the hell, which, coming from a 10-year-old, seem unnecessary.
Profanity: : Oh my God, for Gods sakes and God forsaken are expressions emulating from the films 10-year-olds four times.
Violence: A school bully threatens the two protagonists and they use their karate skills to knock him down, then run off.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Questions are raised about love and the loving ending, but nothing about sex. There is also an innocent kiss between the two kids. It is indicated that the kids are going to attend a wedding, the bride being seven months pregnant, which seems strange to the youngsters, who though you got married first, then you got pregnant.
Drug Abuse: None
Other: In one scene, the youngsters set a time when they can get together. They suggest Sunday. Other obligations fill the day, but no mention of going to church. Indeed, I caught no religious connotations in the film. A subplot has the boys parents separated, but living in the same house. Life lessons are learned there, with a happy outcome.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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