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Little Manhattan
Directed by Mark Levin
Produced by Arnon Milchan
Gavin Polone
Written by Jennifer Flackett
Starring Josh Hutcherson
Charlie Ray
Cynthia Nixon
Bradley Whitford
Music by Chad Fisher
Cinematography Tim Orr
Editing by Alan Edward Bell
Studio Regency Enterprises
New Regency
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Running time 115 min.
Language English

Little Manhattan is a 2005 romantic comedy film directed and written by husband and wife Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett.[1] Though Levin is credited as the director and Flackett as the writer, in the film's DVD commentary the two reveal that they collaborated on both tasks.

Little Manhattan depicts the story of eleven-year-old Gabe's realization that girls can be pretty and pretty nice to be with. The story takes place, and was filmed on location, in Manhattan, mostly in the Upper West Side. The film stars Josh Hutcherson and Charlie Ray in the leading roles of the two children.[2] It was Ray's first film role having never previously attended an audition. The character of Rosemary at the kindergarten stage, seen in a flashback, was played by the director's daughter.



While Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) and his father have a master plan to launch his Tiger Woods-like career as a place-kicker, he decides to begin taking Karate lessons. He takes the course because he is afraid that a kid in his school will beat him up. There he meets Rosemary Telesco, a girl he's known since kindergarten. But after being partnered with her for sparring, he suddenly notices her as a girl, not another face. To Gabe's elation, they begin spending time together and he is completely enamored with not only her, but her life. She lives with her loving upper-class parents on the edge of Central Park. Rosemary's parents take her and Gabe to hear a jazz pianist at The Carlyle, where the young twosome finally hold hands. The Telescos' life is in contrast to Gabe's; he lives with his soon-to-be-divorcing parents, who have declared an awkward truce while waiting for their divorce to be finalized.

As their relationship progresses, Gabe begins to question what is happening to him and why he is falling in love with Rosemary. When things seem to be going perfectly, Gabe's world is suddenly turned upside down. He discovers that Rosemary is soon leaving for camp for six weeks and won't be back until summer's end. And since she has moved up a belt in their karate class, she is given a new partner, a handsome and more athletic boy named Tim Staples, whom Gabe likens to Ashton Kutcher. With their remaining time running out, Gabe tries to move closer to Rosemary but only drives her away. In a desperate move to win Rosemary back, Gabe tests for his yellow belt, but fractures his hand in a painful (and failed) attempt to break a board.

Being crushed with what love really is, he learns from his father that the parents' marriage fell apart because of things left unsaid. Realizing he is out of time, Gabe goes to find Rosemary. He interrupts her during the wedding reception she is attending and declares his love. Taken aback, Rosemary replies she doesn't think she is mature enough to be ready for love, but is really happy to see Gabe. She asks for a dance and Gabe agrees. As they dance, Gabe muses that he and Rosemary were on different paths - "like two ships that passed in Sheep Meadow."

He returns home to find his parents laughing over their honeymoon experiences. Gabe is pleased and surprised when his father says he "cleared out some old stuff" and his parents appear to have reconciled. They happily go out for dinner, and as the movie ends, Gabe, narrating, summarizes what Rosemary meant to him: "...I'm never gonna get another first love. That one is always gonna be her."


Release dates

  • USA: September 30, 2005 (New York, New York)
  • Mexico: January 6, 2006 (limited)
  • Philippines: January 18, 2006 (Manila)
  • Brazil: February 24, 2006
  • Australia: March 23, 2006
  • Spain: April 21, 2006
  • Poland: June 1, 2006
  • Argentina: July 5, 2006 (video premiere)
  • UK: July 7, 2006
  • Italy: July 28, 2006
  • France: August 2, 2006
  • Iceland: August 16, 2006 (DVD premiere)
  • Hungary: August 29, 2006 (DVD premiere)
  • Finland: October 6, 2006 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany: October 20, 2006 (DVD premiere)

Characters and cast


Critical reception

Little Manhattan received mostly positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 74% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with 20 positive reviews out of 27.[3] BBC's Stella Papamichael wrote that the film was "sweet but not syrupy and heart-warming without being manipulative, this kid flick stands tall among recent Hollywood love stories".[4] Kevin Thomas, writing for the Los Angeles Times, called the film "a handsome charmer about the avalanche of first endearing, affectionately humorous and even lyrical depiction of the dawning of adolescence amid the privileged". However he called the script "problematic...[Gabe's] speech as soundtrack narrator of his own story is precociously improbable".[5]

Variety's Brian Lowry was less positive about the film. He wrote "Resting almost entirely on the shoulders of its young leads, both they and the pic lack the sparkle to sustain what seeks to be a whimsical premise but, except for a few moments, proves ponderous instead.". He also believed the film belonged on "youth-targeting basic-cable networks" instead of having a cinematic release.[6]

Box office

The film made $36,397 in the opening weekend in the United States. By December 18, 2005 the film had grossed $385,373. It had worldwide Box Office takings of $1,117,920.

Other details

  • Charlie Ray grew so fast that in several scenes, Josh Hutcherson had to stand on a crate to keep their height difference constant.


External links

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