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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Gabe's friend talks about shoplifting candy. Gabe and Rosemary lie to their parents and leave their neighborhood on the subway alone. There's a lot of dangerous speeding across the street on Gabe's scooter. But the overall message is to follow your feelings and be honest about them.
Violence & Scariness
A lot of karate-related kicking, punching, and tripping. Gabe falls off his scooter but isn't hurt. A bully throws a ball hard during dodgeball and hurts some kids, but not seriously. Rosemary and Adam beat up the bully using karate. Gabe breaks his hand trying to break a board in karate.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young Adam and Leslie kiss, and again later, the adult versions of them kiss. Gabe and Rosemary sit on a subway train where a couple is making out next to them. Gabe kisses Rosemary once on the lips, and replays it in his head many times. The pair wrestles a little on the floor.
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Two uses of the word "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Two references to Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
During a night out on the town, Gabe and Rosemary drink Shirley Temples while Rosemary's parents drink wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie about tween romance shows a little kissing and some wrestling around on the floor. The kids disobey their parents, leave their neighborhood, and take the subway alone. There's some mild peril when they encounter bullies. Gabe deals with his parents getting a divorce. He also speeds across the street on his scooter without looking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Teens are often shown images of romance that are either unrealistically sweet or unbelievably raunchy; between the two sits the charming LITTLE MANHATTAN. It's a revelation of a small film that's essentially When Harry Met Sally for the tween set. In fact, it's a little creepy how alike the movies are. In one scene where Rosemary and Gabe are at a birthday party that Rosemary's toddler sister is attending, Rosemary somewhat snootily says, "See, she's using her hands and talking, and he's drooling over a cupcake." The girl toddler, it turns out, is three months younger than the boy.
Anyone who's ever had a crush is likely to relate to Gabe. He feels the need to ride his scooter past her house constantly. His hands sweat. His heart pounds. "You're weak and pathetic and you're going to be alone for your entire life," he berates himself when he finally sees Rosemary on one of his stakeouts. Finally, viewers eventually get to the scene where Gabe races to find Rosemary and profess his love for her. But the refreshing difference here is that the true love story is saved for the adults -- mercifully, Little Manhattan doesn't force its child stars to grow up too fast.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate