Little Children

Character: Sarah Pierce
Created by: Little Children by Tom Perrotta
Directed by: Todd Field
Written by: Todd Field, Tom Perrotta
Produced by: Todd Field, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
Other cast: Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Noah Emmerich, Gregg Edelman, Phyllis Somerville
Release date: October 6, 2006
Genre: Drama
Running time: 137 minutes

Echoes of "Madame Bovary" in the American suburbs. Sarah's in a loveless marriage to an advertising executive, long days with her young daughter at the park and the pool, wanting more. Brad is an immature househusband, married to a flinty documentary filmmaker. Ronnie is just out of prison - two years for indecent exposure to a minor - living with his elderly mother, May; Larry is a retired cop, fixated on driving Ronnie away. Sarah and Brad connect, a respite of adult companionship at the pool. Ronnie and Larry have their demons. Brad should be studying for the bar; Larry misses his job; Ronnie's mom thinks he needs a girlfriend. Sarah longs to refuse to be trapped in an unhappy life. Where can these tangled paths lead?

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After accepting the role of Sarah, Kate Winslet suggested Patrick Wilson for Brad.

A sequence where Brad mentally compares Sarah to Kathy he describes Kathy as tall and Sarah as short. In reality Jennifer Connelly is only half an inch taller than Kate Winslet.

When the shot pans over Sarah’s books, they include John Updike’s “Couples” also about married couples in adulterous affairs in the suburbs.

Vera Farmiga was the original choice for the role of Sarah Pierce.

Jennifer Connelly won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind (2001) against her co-star in this film Kate Winslet as well as Helen Mirren. Winslet would receive another nomination for this film, but then lost to Mirren for The Queen (2006).

Character Quotes:

Sarah Pierce : I think I understand your feelings about this book. I used to have some problems with it, myself. When I read it in grad school, Madam Bovary just seemed like a fool. She marries the wrong man; makes one foolish mistake after another; but when I read it this time, I just fell in love with her. She’s trapped! She has a choice: she can either accept a life of misery or she can struggle against it. And she chooses to struggle.
Mary Ann : Some struggle. Hop into bed with every guy who says hello.
Sarah Pierce : She fails in the end, but there’s something beautiful and even heroic in her rebellion. My professors would kill me for even thinking this, but in her own strange way, Emma Bovary is a feminist.
Mary Ann : Oh, that’s nice. So now cheating on your husband makes you a feminist?
Sarah Pierce : No, no, it’s not the cheating. It’s the hunger. The hunger for an alternative, and the refusal to accept a life of unhappiness.
Mary Ann : Maybe I didn’t understand the book!

Sarah Pierce : [sarcastically] You know what else you should do? Nail his penis above the entrance to the elementary school. That’d really teach him a lesson.