Little Children (2006)
We’re all probably tired of stories about boredom, adultery, and perversion in the suburbs. Little Children is treading over familiar territory in this respect, but nevertheless manages to seem on the whole fresh and funny. Two unhappily married young parents (Kate Winslett, Patrick Wilson) meet at a playground that both their children frequent. Soon they’re arranging play-dates at home as an alibi to have hot, sweaty, incidental sex on the laundry room floor. Meanwhile a convicted pedophile (Jackie Haley) has moved back into the neighbourhood inciting mass hysteria and heightened vigilance, like you would. The script employs a famously risky device, the omniscient narrator, to frequently splendid comic effect–there’s even a little in-joke about the actor’s identity which you’ll catch if his voice sounds at all familiar to you. Unfortunately as the end approaches the movie resorts to more and more Hollywood clichés and the last line (spoken by the narrator) is a platitude. Maybe the “point” we’re meant to extract from this is that all is right in the world now that the suburbs have gone back to being boring. If so, that’s boring.
– J. Adams