Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Little Women (1994)

Little Women was one of those movies that I kind of wanted to watch, but didn't really want to buy the DVD. Luckily, it was on TV one day, solving my problem. I really didn't know much about the story of Little Women and had never read the book. So I was watching Little Women with very little knowledge of the story.
Box Art

Little Women revolves around the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March, and their mother, Mrs. March. Mr. March, Mrs. March's husband and Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy's father, is off fighting in the Civil War. Jo March, the main protagonist, becomes quick friends with Theodore "Laurie" Laurence who falls in love with her.

There are some members of the cast that are famous, though I really don't know many of them from period dramas. These actors/actresses include Winona Ryder (Jo March), Susan Sarandon (Mrs. March), Kirsten Dunst (young Amy March), and Christian Bale (Laurie).

Left to Right: Amy March, Jo March, Beth March, and Meg March
The March sisters were okay. Jo I had to get used to a little bit, but I grew to like her. Beth was sympathetic especially after she caught scarlet fever. Meg seemed alright, but I wanted to see more of her on the screen: I feel like I didn't get her whole character very much. But honestly, I did not like Amy March. I think it was because I only really saw her during the first half of the movie where she was young and selfish. She was there on screen a little bit as an adult, but I don't think that she was there enough for my opinion of her to improve.

There was something unsatisfactory about the ending. I didn't think that Laurie should have ended up with Amy. I also thought that Professor Bhear looked too old for Jo. I've heard that people wish that Laurie and Jo had gotten married, and I think I have to agree with them. I didn't hate Professor Bhear, but I still thought that he was too old for Jo. Plus, Laurie seemed to change after he went to France: suddenly, I couldn't trust his character very much. Oh well...

There were some very nice colors used for the scenery. The part that sticks out in my mind was when Jo was in the forest picking flowers: everything looked so green and fresh! But in short, the scenery was very colorful and pleasant to look at.

Jo and Professor Bhear
The story takes place in the 1860's (and maybe very early 1870's?). There is a wide range of costumes. The Marches, due to their poverty, have poor clothes and, for the most part, go without the crinoline most of the time. Jo does wear a crinoline and fashionable clothing for a coming-out party, but hated it, so that was the end of that. I say maybe 1870s because when Amy was in France, she was wearing a bustle, which didn't come into fashion until about 1869 and stayed in fashion until 1875. You also get to see what mourning fashion was like during the 1860s. Whatever the fashion used, everything looked very nice.

Overall: 3/5
I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I liked it... kind of... I guess it was okay. I probably wouldn't watch it again on my own, but if someone wanted to see it, I wouldn't object to watching it again. There is a bit of nice scenery and the costumes are nice to look at. The plot and characters were just okay, though: not really in my top favorite plots and characters, but not in my bottom either.

Little Women is available on DVD. It is rated PG for two uses of mild language and runs for 115 minutes.


  1. I have just started reading your blog and I love it! You're most certainly right about Laurie in the second half I felt I couldn't trust him. I wish someone would make a long version of LW.

  2. I really liked the movie. If they had changed the ending it would have made me mad because the ending they have in the movie is the one in the book. The book is better (isn't the book always better than the movie?), but I enjoyed the movie.

  3. The real problem with Laurie was that his character's turn-around happened too quickly. In the book, it's much more of slow process when he "gets over" Jo and falls in love with Amy. And I agree--Kirsten Dunst made a cute, though somewhat annoying Amy. The older Amy didn't have enough screen time.
    I agree with you, Carolyn--maybe the BBC could make a miniseries of Little Women! Of course, they probably wouldn't be interested in adapting an American novel. :-)

  4. Miss Dashwood,
    BBC did adapt The Buccaneers, which was an American novel, but it was absolutely horrible. I do not recommend it.
    I agree with you. Laurie changed too quickly. It came as too much of a shock to me. They should have smoothed out his change a little bit more.

  5. Thanks for the comment, I hope you find just the right fabric for a new gown! I am a Little Women fan and have always enjoyed that movie. It has sort of been a family film my mom played when I was sick or something, so I had seen it a dozen times before I read the whole book. I do not think i would like it as much if I had read the book first. As it is, I think Kirsten Dunst plays a perfect Amy!

  6. I like this movie a lot. But it really annoys me, always, when Laurie goes for Amy. It always reminds me of the song "till I kissed her little sister and forgot my Clementine"! hahaha

    My favorite thing about this movies is that it has some great quotes. ;-)

    I very rarely buy movies on DVD...only if I've already seen them a few times and know they're one of my favorites.
    So I must sing the praises of libraries...hehe

  7. I liked Joe you can see her growing up and she is wonderful, bold and brave for her time; indeed for our time.


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