Little Manhattan (PG) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Or: they called it puppy love. Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) is a 10-year-old Upper East Sider with parents in the middle of divorcing, who has a serious crush on Rosemary (Charlie Ray), a girl he's known since kindergarten and now partners in karate class. Can love find a way before she goes off to summer camp?

That it's directed by Mark Levin might encourage those who fondly remember his work on TV nostalgia comedy The Wonder Years, but hopes are doused beneath a blanket of overpowering soppiness and a voiceover that fatally stalls the rhythm and pace. Hutcherson comes on like a tween Woody Allen, or would if he had any decent lines to deliver; Ray is charming as the girl who makes his heart go pitter-pat, and may go on to better things.

Who is this movie for? A very particular demographic: parents feeling guilty about a) their divorce and b) not spending enough time with their kids. They're welcome to it.

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