Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Local Scene Articles Partners About Us Contest Soundtrack Books


Tom Perrotta
248 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin Reprint edition (January 2005)
ISBN: 0312315732
Price: S$27.95 (Available in Borders)






Little Children is all about adults actually. Adults that are leading somewhat privileged lifestyles with cute children and rich or pretty spouses. Basically they should not be discontented or feeling vacuous.

But feeling vacuous is what they are. Sarah, the jaded feminist who married a divorcee to escape personal Starbucks hell found that she is fast becoming a “boring suburban wife”. In Sarah’s world, children are more like appendages, something that she shouldn’t really be bothered about. Richard, the husband, is rich but obsessed with Slutty Kay and her mail-delivered panties. Todd the “Prom King” stay-at-home dad spends most of his time with his son Aaron but still finds Aaron closer to his trophy pretty filmmaker wife Kathy. Committed to sitting for the bar exam for the third time, Todd is more interested in watching skateboarders and playing train wreck with his son.

Then on a warm balmy afternoon at the playground, Sarah and Todd exchanged a prank kiss in front of the boring suburban moms and it escalated into a full-blown affair involving their children and the town swimming pool. Thrown into the mix are newly-released child-molester Ronnie and retired hothead cop Larry, a volatile combination that messes up the placid neighbourhood.

Little Children is a subtly poignant satire of the modern suburban family, penned in an understated style by Tom Perrotta, the author who had previously lanced the rose-tinted bubble of high school and college lifestyle in Joe College and Election. The themes of nostalgia for unlivened experiences and longing for the unattainable were never explicated but driven home slowly with each course of action chosen by the characters. Perrotta never overlays his story with beautiful prose, just like how he refuses to aggrandize or judge any of his characters. The adult characters behave more like children trying to avoid responsibility and act on their selfish impulses – behaviour that is constricted by the social norms of adult life.

The greatest empathy was reserved for Todd, the misplaced jock who attempted to find his personal salvation by re-enacting his high school lifestyle with midnight football and an admiring girlfriend. The scenes where Todd looked on enviously while teenage skateboarders showboat their youthful exuberance were both tender and forceful.

Little Children has been adapted into a well-received film starring Kate Winslet, Patrick “Zidane” Wilson and Jennifer Connelly with a script written by the author and Todd Fields. I am looking forward to watching it.


“It was only later, after he was married and the father of a new-born son, that he began to suspect that there was something not quite right, something unresolved or defective at the core of his being. And it must have been something – this flaw or lack of whatever the hell it was – that kept his arm glued to the mailbox while he watched the skateboarders every night, desperately hoping that they’d notice him for once and say something nice, maybe even invite him to step out from the shadows and take his rightful place among them.”


I happen to be a fan of the grand-prose-and-sweeping-storyline genre, but this low-key concise effort by Tom Perrotta is a good introspective read.

Review by Lim Mun Pong




. Little Children



This review is made possible with the kind sponsor of BORDERS


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.