Little Women: A Modern Retelling of a 150 Year Old Classic

Little Women is one of my favourite novels of all time, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it! I’ve loved the sequels, Little Men & Jo’s Boys too. It’s been a real treat to share these classics with my own “little women” too!

I first read Little Women in my early teens, and it immediately earned itself a place in my heart as one of my all-time favourite novels. My favourite literary heroines were Montgomery’s Anne and Alcott’s Jo.

Looking back, I think I really connected with both Anne Shirley and Jo March because I both admired them and shared things in common with them. Anne & Jo are both impulsive, daring, and confident (which I certainly was NOT), but are also dreamers & idealists who love play acting and writing — and had aspirations of becoming writers as I did.

While I am definitely one of those “the book is always better” people (except Mary Poppins, which is one of our favourite family movies but the book IMO is less than stellar), I also LOVE watching movie adaptations of my favourites. Whenever we finish reading a great book together, one of my kids is sure to ask, “Is there a movie version we can watch?”

To tell you the truth though, since the release of Netflix’s mini-series Anne adaptation, I’ve become a little leery of modern retellings and adaptations. I didn’t even need to watch that one after I read all the reviews and saw this clip. I felt sick and heartbroken.

So when I heard there was going to be a new release of another one of my all time favourites, I was a little bit nervous. I let out a huge sigh of relief however when I heard it was coming from the folks at  Pure Flix & FaithFilms/Graf-Martin Communications. That’s not to say that the movie would necessarily be true and honouring to Alcott’s original, but at least it would be clean.

Little Women 2018 Movie Review

I was able to watch a pre-screening of this film prior to its release so that I could tell my readers about it. All opinions are my own. See my disclosure policy for details.

Little Women: A Timeless Classic with a Modern Twist

This latest movie adaptation of Alcott’s Little Women is not another portrayal of the original — it’s actually a modern retelling of the classic. In the place of letters & telegrams are emails, texts, and Skyping. Teenage parties & prom* instead of the Moffat’s grand party. And poor Meg’s hair is still burned by Jo, but this time using an electric curling iron.

I had fun watching this new story unfold, guessing and anticipating what would happen next, and how the original story elements would be incorporated. Some had a completely new twist — Jo cuts off all her hair, but for a different reason this time and Amy almost dies, but not from a fall through the ice.

Watch the Little Women Trailer

If you’re a purist who doesn’t appreciate liberties being taken with your old favourites, you probably won’t like this modern retelling. Susan Sarandon is the gold standard for Marmee to me, and Wynona Rider is still my favourite Jo, but I do hope that this new version will inspire a new generation to pick up the book and experience Alcott’s classic for themselves. Just the same, I have to get on my soapbox here and say always read the book first!

*Note: This movie is rated PG-13 for “thematic elements and teen drinking”. I was going to watch this movie with my soon to be 11-year old but I’m glad I changed my mind — while fairly tastefully done, the teen party scene, complete with kissing and peer pressure was a little less than wholesome and more suitable for teens and up.

Will you be watching this new, 2018 remake of Little Women? How do you feel about film adaptations and modern retellings?

Little Women opens in theatres September 28th, 2018. American and Canadian theatre locations available.  Film has been provided courtesy of Pure Flix and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

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