With Big, a boy magicked himself into the grown-up body of Tom Hanks. 17 Again did this in reverse, transmogrifying Matthew Perry into the swishy-haired form of Zac Efron. 13 Going on 30 flipped the gender dynamic, reworking the Big template with Jennifer Garner in the lead. What these films all share in common, apart from family-friendly hijinks, is their eye-searing whiteness.
Providing a course-correction of diversity is the new body-switch comedy Little, which got its first trailer this morning. Regina Hall dons her brightest power suits as an alpha-female executive who treats her loyal assistant (Issa Rae) like yesterday’s fishbones.
But after she’s hexed by a Lisa Frank T-shirt-clad child, Hall shrinks back to her grade-school self, portrayed by TV up-and-comer Marsai Martin. The pint-size terror must team up with her own assistant, their power dynamic now upended, to get both of their lives back on track.
Smart money says they’ll learn a lesson or two about themselves along the way, that much is par for the course, but there’s a decent amount separating this entry from the canon of similar films. For one, it provides Rae with a proper vehicle for the estimable comedic chops she’s already proven on the small screen.
Moreover, seeing a major studio comedy project staffed at the most visible levels with black women – Tina Gordon Chism, writer of Drumline and ATL, took the director’s chair – represents another step in a positive direction for Hollywood.
Take a gander at the trailer below, before Little comes to theatres on 12 April.