By: Movie Snurb (Five Beers) –
Little Women is a modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of the same name. The sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March go through childhood to womanhood. Though all the good times and bad the sisters stay together and are there for each other like any family should be. They learn to be strong independent women through the help of each other. The only thing I can’t figure out is why this was made at all.
It’s a classic novel and a classic story, so that’s only natural for it to be made into a feature film. Because it’s based on a classic novel there will be great material that transfers no matter the medium. There were some very tender moments, (SPIOLER ALERT) when Beth passes away it was a very tender and nice moment. Based on previous scenes I expected her death to be cheesy, but it was handled with care, not really leaving any dry eyes in the house. (SPOILERS OVER) Unfortunately, this is about the nicest thing I can say about the film.
Now, I’ve never read Little Women, and this may cause my annoyance with Jo, but she is insufferable. She is overly rude to everyone, especially Amy. She commands everyone do everything her way; if it’s not her way she has to throw a fit like a child. She turns down Laurie and then gets mad when he ends up with Amy. She can’t stand anyone critiquing her book. Her only redeeming moments are with Beth. I also think it was partly Sarah Davenport’s portrayal of Jo, or the directors’ vision for the character. Whatever it was, it made Jo so unlikable I was hoping she’d fall down the stairs from the attic at least once.
The film is told through flashbacks via Jo’s memories. These flashbacks result in change of actresses, however Amy never changes. Then, when Jo is called home and she returns to everyone Amy looks completely different. This wouldn’t be terrible if they didn’t use the same actresses for the flashbacks of 11 years prior and everyone looked the same except for Amy. It was a weird decision that the film couldn’t get over. Plus, it made some of the flashback scenes confusing; you’ll forget which timeline you’re in until the blurry transition happens to remind you.
The writing is at times… or most of the time very cheesy and lame. We’re they setting out to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay? Probably not. But you could’ve tried to reach higher than a Lifetime film. A lot of the dialogue felt like it belonged on the Lifetime Channel, and don’t get me started on Jo wanting to “Do All the Things” and “Have All of the Feeling.” Ok Kevin, “Why use many words when only few will do?”
They placed this story in modern times. With everything that is happening in today’s climate this story could’ve benefited from using what is happening in today’s culture to help tell the story and give the women new modern ways to teach them how to be independent women. Also, I didn’t see any reason for the Dad to be involved in the film. He added nothing and is only in a few scenes; why do we need to see them make a skype call with him in Iraq? Again, I wonder why this version was even made?
If you can find the PBS version I’d just watch that instead.
This could’ve been a solid Lifetime film: trim down 20 minutes, and place it on TV where the demographic this movie is for will see it. It’s cheesy, too long, and Jo is terrible. If I heard Greta Gerwig is working on a version of Little Women, so if I were you, I’d just wait for that.
Little Women (2018) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: every time Jo annoys you.
Do a Shot: for every flashback and flashforward.
Take a Drink: every time the women get mad at each other.
Take a Drink: every time they call their Mom ‘Marmee’. (Was that in the book? Did I miss something?)