Calvin (Marlon Wayans)is a diminutive and unquestionably weird-looking jewel thief who poses as a toddler in order to retrieve a diamond he hid with the childless-but-trying couple Daryl and Vanessa (played by Shawn Wayans and Kerry Washington). Hilarity ensues as the movie runs wild with a slew of breastfeeding jokes, crotch shots, and scatological humour that recognises no boundaries. When Calvin’s boss, Walken (Chazz Palminteri), tracks down the titular little man and his new family to snatch the diamond that is rightfully his, the movie turns into a familiar riff on HOME ALONE: when a criminal is after you, hit him in the crotch. Calvin and Daryl join together in a bid to defeat the evil Walken and his henchmen, and in the process learn a little something about what it means to love and be loved. Despite small budgets and a lack of bona fide star power, the Wayans Brothers have proven to be one of the most commercially successful comedy teams in the Hollywood of the early 2000s.
The brothers rose to fame in the 1990s via the IN LIVING COLOR sketch show and later the gross-out satire-lite of the SCARY MOVIE series. Similar to their 2004 movie WHITE CHICKS–about two undercover black police officers posing as rich white girls–2006’s LITTLE MAN is a raunchy crime caper that likewise uses a grotesque fish-out-of-water scenario as its comedic focal point. To discuss matters of taste in the context of LITTLE MAN defeats the purpose of its mere existence–this movie revels in its own base-level humour. However, even the Wayans brothers themselves acknowledge that they are making silly movies for as broad an audience as possible. While some of the sex jokes are perhaps a little too raunchy for children, the movie is packed with sub-Looney Tunes tomfoolery, not to mention a Looney Tunes plot (remember when Bugs Bunny took in Baby-Face Finster? The Wayans brothers certainly do), making this perfect fodder for kids–or adults with a juvenile sense of humour.