Little Women has had several movie adaptions made. The one that sticks in my mind the most is the adaptation from 1994, which starred Winona Ryder, Kirstin Dunst, and Susan Sarandon. I’ve always loved this movie for many reasons: the importance of family, the love between sisters, and because I’m a writer myself, Jo’s dream of being published.
I recently viewed the adaptation from 2019, which stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Laura Dern.
This particular version goes back and forth between the present and the past, mainly through Jo’s eyes. It contains the same characters as the original book and screenplay – the feisty and fiery writer wannabe, Jo; the calm and gentle actress, Meg; the fashionable and bratty Amy; the sweet and gracious Beth; and the fun-loving and dashing Laurie.
There are some excellent themes families can discuss with tweens and teens. The movie highlights contentment several times throughout, including the March family not having much food to eat and Meg’s marriage to a hardworking, but poor, man. Generosity is highlighted and seen especially in Marmee’s and Beth’s tender care for those less fortunate. Self-sacrifice is seen when Marmee suggests that her girls donate their breakfast to a starving family nearby. At first reluctant, the girls soon see the graciousness in Marmee’s suggestion. There is also the theme of forgiveness and the importance of Ephesians 4:26 “…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” The theme of family is woven throughout and it is clear that the March family is close and cares deeply for each other, even if they don’t always get along.
There are only a few concerns in this version: namely, an unfortunate use of the Lord’s name in vain uttered once and there is an instance of Jo sneaking alcohol and Laurie being drunk at a festivity. Laurie’s rebellious nature surges to the forefront after his rejection from Jo.
As was the 1994 version, this adaptation is also suitable for the entire family, although those under nine will likely not be interested in the entire movie. If you are looking for an enjoyable movie filled with drama, some humor, and a bit of romance, Little Women is just the ticket. I highly recommend it and give it 4 1/2 stars out of five. For more movie suggestions for the family please see my Mom Approved Movies Listing.
Before you go, check out these other posts: