Todd Field tries to re-create the small-town claustrophobia of his 2001 In the Bedroom with this adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel, but Perrotta's scathing dark comedy about upper-middle-class breeders won't conform to Field's Chekovian picturesque. In some tony, vaguely New England exurb Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) and Brad Adamson (Patrick Wilson) are the super-beautiful husband and wife in the super-perfect marriage; she is a documentary filmmaker, he is the hot stay-at-home dad with their 3-year-old, Aaron (Ty Simpkins). His daily trips to the playground spark chatter among the neighborhood's cookie-cutter soccer moms, but only the perpetually bored, listless, frumpy, and daydreaming Sarah (Kate Winslet) talks to him. Talk leads to play dates between Aaron and her Lucy (Sadie Goldstein), children's play dates lead to adult play dates, and then, alas, Little Children calmly winds down those turbulent roads familiar to anybody who has read any John Cheever. It's not that Field's adaptation lacks zing, it's that his movie's concessions to Perrotta's merciless satire feel like mere afterthoughts. Plus, the casting boggles the mind. Connelly is obviously stupid beautiful, but Wilson is a tad too generic to be disruptively attractive. As for Winslet being homely, well, if I may speak for us homely everywhere, we should all be cursed by such inelegant plainness.