Big Enough

Washington City Paper
June 11, 2004

Dwarfs bowling in slow motion to the accompaniment of a creepy Philip Glass-esque soundtrack would no doubt get major laffs on Conan O'Brien. But as the kickoff scene to the exceptional Big Enough, director Jan Krawitz's then-and-now sequel to her 1984 film Little People, it's hardly chuckle-inducing.  Especially when it segues into vintage footage of Mark, seen in elementary school some 20 years ago, playing with his Trapper Keeper and crawling onto the school bus as taller kids wait behind him. "There are some advantages to being little," the 10-year-old chirps. "When you play hide-and-seek, it's a lot easier to hide." Then jump to the present day, as Mark and his wife, also a dwarf, ask someone at a gas station to scan their credit card at the way-out-of-reach pump. Krawitz is a no-frills filmmaker, but she doesn't need to be flashy: Her subjects are forthcoming and funny, always willing to share how hard it is to live in a world not scaled for them. Karla, for example, remembers getting through "her teens and her early 20s without going out," but she seems fully adjusted to such adult concerns as finding love, starting a family, and facing social prejudice: "If I don't like someone," she says, "I try to imagine them short."