There are certain movies where you shake your head wondering if you and the consensus of movie critics saw two different versions of the movie. Exhibit A: The Little Prince. Critics loved it. I thought it struggled to find a true identity and couldn’t quite decide if it wanted to appeal to adults or kids. That being said, you may thoroughly enjoy this movie. I didn’t.
A little girl (Mackenzie Foy) and her mother (Rachel MacAdams) move into a new house over the summer. The little girl is stuck in the house all day preparing for the school year while her mom is working a corporate job. Not getting any attention at home, the little girl turns to the crazy old man next door, The Aviator (Jeff Bridges), who opens up her imagination with fantastic stories of his life as a pilot.
The film is disorienting on multiple occasions. There are scenes and fragments of scenes that hit you from left and right, not quite making complete sense. I can’t speak for anyone else, but, for me, it was jarring and made it hard to really enjoy the film as a whole.
The overall direction of the film left me confused. In its efforts to appeal to the adults, I think it completely shut the kids out. My nephew will be eight next year and I have no doubt that The Little Prince couldn’t hold his attention for more than a few minutes. To me, the ultimate downfall of the movie was that it was trying to take two stories, the story of the little girl and that of the little prince, and mesh them into one. One story made complete sense while the other was extremely artsy in nature. If you’re remotely good at math or science, you know a positive and a negative make a negative.
While I thought the mom was way too over-the-top controlling, I think the main characters are one of the movie’s strong suits. The Aviator is extremely lovable as Jeff Bridges tends to be. He has a relaxed, funny attitude and you never know what he’s going to do or say next. The little girl is also easy to get attached to, very relatable. You instantly feel the need to protect her from her mom and all the crazy pressures of the world. The Aviator and the Little Girl together are a match made in heaven as he gives her the relief she needs from real life.
The Little Prince was one of the movies I was most excited to see going into 2016 even after I found out it wasn’t going to be released in theaters and it was going straight to Netflix. Regrettably, I didn’t like it as much as I hoped. You might. I give it a 53.