I’ve heard of Little Women for many years now, but I had never read the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. I always try to get to know the plots of famous books, so I know what people are talking about when it comes up. The 1994 incarnation of Little Women caught my eye, as it had Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, and Christian Bale. Some of these people had already been pretty famous by 1994, but most of the cast here (along with some actors in minor roles) had strong careers afterward.
The film is set first during the later years of the U.S. Civil War with a family of women in Concord, Massachusetts. The family’s only male (which is the dad), Mr. March had gone off to fight in the great conflict that tore our great nation apart. Leaving his wife and daughters to stay at home and wait for his return. The mother, Marmee March does her best to keep the family united and happy in such dire times.
Out of all the March daughters, the one who stands out the most is Josephine “Jo” March. Jo is an aspiring writer and she quickly takes her tales out of the home and gets them out in some very small and very local mediums. She really wants to be a famous author, but she often writes about things that are “popular” rather than something personal to her heart. She’s also a woman, which makes it harder for her stories to get taken seriously.
Speaking of her heart, it becomes obvious that she likes her neighbor Theodore “Laurie” Laurence. The young Laurie likes her back as well.While the tests of young love will strain most of the March family, Jo will see that more than most. Not only that, but war and disease isn’t exactly an uncommon evil in the 19th century, and nobody in the March family nor their friends will quite see some of the paths ahead of them in life.
Overall I wasn’t too impressed by Little Women, but I did like it a good bit. I’m sure the novel is written more for women in mind, which would explain why it appeals less to me. The story was also much different than I expected, which isn’t anyone’s fault, nor was that really a bad thing.