Little Manhattan

image for Little Manhattan

Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (Theme)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Little Manhattan
  • a review of Little Manhattan completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 March 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 While there is nothing particularly scary or violent in this movie, parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of eight as they may need help to understand the story line and themes.
Children over the age of 8 Children over the age of eight should be ok to see this movie, but some could probably still benefit from parental guidance to understand the theme.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Little Manhattan
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length: 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

A lot of Little Manhattan is in narrative form, describing Gabe’s feelings for his friend Rosemary. Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) is ten and three quarter years old and all his life he has hated girls until one day he joins a karate class and sees Rosemary Telesco (Charlie Ray), whom he has known since kindergarten, in a completely new light. Gabe begins to feel the pressure of ‘first love’ and with it the roller coaster of emotions and self doubt. To complicate Gabe’s life further, his parents Adam (Bradley Whitford) and Leslie (Cynthia Nixon) are getting a divorce. Neither wants to move out of the apartment however, they both want to be with Gabe, so he has to cope with his mother going out with other men. Rosemary’s family are quite rich and she will soon be leaving for summer camp and then on to private school. Gabe therefore doesn’t have much time to tell Rosemary how he feels.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family breakdown.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some bullying in this movie by a large older boy at school of whom everyone is scared. In one scene, the boy throws a football at some younger children knocking them out. He then picks on Gabe and Rosemary for being in his territory, and Rosemary attacks him using karate and knocks him down. The boy later recovers and chases after the others on his bike.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the bullying incident described above, there is nothing particularly scary in this movie.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the bullying incident described above, there is nothing particularly scary in this movie.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over the age of eight are unlikely to be scared by anything in this movie.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over the age of thirteen are unlikely to be scared by anything in this movie.

Product placement

The product ‘Pepsi’ is displayed in this movie.

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

The movie contains infrequent use of: ‘My God’, ‘Oh God’ and ‘For God’s sake’.

In a nutshell

The movie is about first love and the lasting impression it makes. It doesn’t have any take home message. Parents may wish to discuss with their children the use of karate as a means of self defence. It could also give them the opportunity to discuss the impact on children of their parents separating.