Little Matchmakers

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Little Matchmakers Movie Poster Image
Kids set up divorced parents; depression is major theme.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 105 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie suggests that love can cure any ailment, including grief and depression -- a romantic but superficial concept.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lily and Pepin want to see their parents happy, and want to do whatever it takes to help them overcome their post-divorce depression. Their approach is far-fetched though.


Some romantic kisses between adults and discussion about tween dating.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A depressed mother is shown taking pills, lying down in bed, and mumbling a song to herself. Adults drink in a restaurant -- wine, vodka tonics, and shots -- but don't act intoxicated.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Little Matchmakers is a low-budget romantic drama with some surprisingly heavy elements -- including grief, depression, divorce, and discussion of suicide. Kids might be attracted by the young actors at the center of the drama, but those expecting a feel-good romantic romp will be disappointed. Expect a few adult kisses and some social drinking, along with a scene where a depressed mother takes some pills and acts depressed.

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What's the story?

Lily is an 10-year-old girl from New York City who arrives in San Diego with her novelist mother who is depressed after a recent divorce. Pepin is an 10-year-old boy from Mexico City who arrives in San Diego with his opera singing father who is also depressed after a recent divorce. When Lily and Pepin meet on the beach, they realize they both have parents going through similar problems. Worried that her mother might attempt suicide after Lily reads about depression online, Lily enlists Pepin to work together to try and set up their respective parents on a date, so they will fall in love and they can be a family together. This is not as easy as they hope, as the two kids fall into a series of misadventures before finally, with the help of a San Diego police officer who is also an aspiring actor, figuring out a way to maybe bring their parents together.

Is it any good?

Those expecting LITTLE MATCHMAKERS to be a light-hearted romantic romp where two precocious kids fix up two lonely adults will be disappointed. The movie is full of mawkish melodrama and the heavy-handed talk of depression and suicide. The slow pace of the movie -- it takes over an hour before the man and woman finally meet -- coupled with the unrelenting use of sad, twinkling background piano music every time anything remotely dramatic happens, makes it difficult to get through. Instead of feeling genuine pity for the characters, you feel manipulated.

Because of the film's length -- 30 minutes could easily be cut from it -- it's difficult to imagine kids enjoying this, even with decent child acting. While it's noble to discuss and show the aftermath of divorce and the effect it has on adults and children, the amateur-hour production values prevent this from living up to being as good as it might have been. Instead, it tries to be both a gut-wrenching drama and a precocious kid comedy, and fails at both.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about divorce. Do you think this film accurately shows what it is like for parents and kids going through divorce?

  • What parts of the film seem believable, and which parts are farfetched? What would have improved this movie?

  • How do you know what to believe online? Where can you go to check your facts? Who can you ask about depression and other serious issues?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

Themes & Topics

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