I have long been a fan of Louisa May Alcott’s classic ‘Little Women’. Pulling out the VCR and my old VHS of the original movie is an annual tradition at Christmas. I absolutely love the story of the March sisters! Click HERE to view trailer.
So when Graf-Martins Communications offered me a pre-screening link so I could write a review I jumped at the chance. I kept my fingers crossed and hit play, hoping that the new version would honor the original storylines and the characters. No disappointment here!
Actually, lots of disappointment, ridiculous frustration and fuming ensued, due to our pathetic internet set to ‘super lag’ that night! We ended up using ALL of my husband’s data and mine streaming it through our phones…it took 4 hours and 2 of my links to watch!!!!
BUT I LOVED IT ANYWAY!!!
My biggest fear was that they would change Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy into something other than who they were in Ms. Alcott’s writing. They didn’t do that, the girls are themselves (insert huge sigh of relief). There were a few items that didn’t quite jive for me and so I’ll outline a few of those, but honestly, they’re pretty minor overall and don’t detract too much from the original story.
What I didn’t like so much:
- Teddy – they named him Laurie Lawrence instead of his actual name, Theodore Lawrence, aka Teddy, aka Laurie. I felt that this change of name didn’t do Teddy justice and made him appear just a bit ridiculous, who would name their kid Laurie Lawrence?
- Marmee – in the original Marmee is a very strong character and in this version, she wasn’t quite as outspoken and directive with her girls. I love Marmee’s fire and conviction, I missed that in the modern version, she appeared far softer. (Anyone know where the term ‘Marmee’ comes from?)
- Jo and Amy – I felt that this relationship needed more meat. They left outMarmee’s fiery diatribe on ‘modern schooling’ that forced the two of them into a teacher/learner situation. I believe that omission contributed to the vagueness. The viewer had to wonder what created so much friction between Jo and Amy. Only one brief reference to ‘spending all day with her’ gave a clue. Jo appeared extremely jealous of the relationship between Laurie and Amy in this version, not the case in the original, surprised, shocked even, but not jealous.
- Jo is overly feminist in her views, particularly toward Meg and her impending marriage, more than necessary, it just didn’t seem to fit very well into the overall story.
- The extra party – I’m not sure why that was necessary.
- It was missing the development of Amy and Laurie’s romance in Europe and Laurie’s ‘coming of age’ so to speak.
Things I loved:
- Revisiting the story in the modern setting! It would have been difficult to do but I think they managed it quite successfully.
- The March sister’s casting created very believable characters!
- I wondered how they would handle Beth’s illness contracted from the ‘Hummel baby’. Cancer really worked well into the storyline and gave Jo a good reason to cut off her hair!
- Dad played a more prominent role in this new version.
- The love of four sisters for one another transcending all their obstacles and varying personalities shone through beautifully.
If you haven’t seen it yet, please do it! Thanks, Graf-Martin Communications for allowing me the link to see one of my all-time faves in a new setting.