"Little" Review: Movie is 'laugh-out-loud' funny

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The new film called "Little" opening this weekend is an update on the classic comedy in which a little boy wishes he was "Big" and wakes up as Tom Hanks. The new movie reverses this process -- so Regina Hall turns into a young teen.

That teen is played by Marsai Martin, who also plays one of the twins on ABC's "black-ish," and one of the biggest joys of my job is watching a performer break out of the pack to soar as a star. That's pleasure awaits anyone who takes my advice to go see "Little."

Regina Hall plays a boss who's a bully with a long-suffering assistant given life by Issa Rae. The busy executive makes life difficult for everyone until she is rude to the wrong girl. The preteen waves a magic wand telling Jordan, "I wish you were little."

The next day, Jordan wakes up "Little" and 14 years of age. Marsai Martin is completely believable as an adult in a young teen's body, and let's think for a moment how tough that is to pull off and how many ways that could go wrong!

Fans of "black-ish" have watched her grow-up on TV these past five years and incredibly, Martin was the one who conceived of what is destined to become her break-out role while watching "Big."

Could this be updated? Martin wondered. She was 10 years old at the time! Which is how, as ABC's "Nightline" explained recently, Martin became the youngest executive producer of a major studio movie in Hollywood history!

"I mean it's crazy," she told correspondent, Linsey Davis. "It's crazy to hear the title. It's nuts because when my parents told me, it's like, 'nah you're lying'."

All of this would be merely interesting if the movie wasn't so laugh-out-loud funny. Jordan's journey toward enlightenment has a few gaps, but I was willing to forgive the film's occasional lapses.

Her mom admits Martin is "very mature," but she is also "still a kid." That's why "Little" is so hilarious, and that's why Marsai Martin is a very big star of tomorrow -- who is here today.

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