Book vs. Movie: Little Women (2019)

Though I haven’t seen any other adaptations of Little Women, from reviews I’ve read online, this movie seems to be the best of the bunch. But I highly recommend reading the book before watching it, as the plot can be confusing if you don’t. 

Little Women (2019) shifts time frames constantly, moving between the two different books. When I first put the movie on, much like almost everyone else, I was confused. Throughout the movie it was hard to tell what timeline we were following, the actresses looked the same and they were never explicitly named. 

But as the movie went on, I grew to love it. The shifting timelines were unique and something I never considered could work. The switches really helped the viewers see the parallels, and also see how the girls have matured. 

With an 800 page book made into an hour and 15-minute long movie, you obviously can’t have all the scenes. One of my favorite parts of the book was when the sisters all got gifts for meemaw on Christmas in the first chapter, but sadly that part didn’t make the cut. But some of my favorite scenes include the infamous porch dance, Meg’s ball, Laurie’s proposal, and Beth playing the piano at Laurence’s house. 

Even though I finished the book the very same day I watched the movie, I somehow felt a very strong sense of nostalgia. The movie had a really great way of not only keeping the warmth from the book but expanding on it. Throughout the movie, I ended up feeling even more connected to the book and the characters. 

Speaking of characters, let’s discuss the casting. With very reputable and well-known actresses such as Meryl Streep and Emma Watson, it was appealing form the get-go. I enjoyed all of the performances of the cast, especially Laurie and Amy. When I read the book I despised Amy, but the movie put Amy March in a much better light. It portrayed her not as a person who is bitter about what she has, but someone who knows how to get what she wants and will do whatever it takes. Well, almost everything. 

Although I may have cried at the dinner table while reading the book. After a certain scene in the movie, I was sobbing for half of it. I could feel my parents looking at me troubled but I could not keep my emotions in check. Seeing particular heart-wrenching scenes from the book played out in the movie did not help my tears in the slightest. 

The movie also added some new ideas to the famous story. The newer movie has traces of feminism such as Amy’s speech about marriage that make this classic more modernized. The more current ideals fit with the characters perfectly, as the girls were raised with very modern ideas for the time period. 

The biggest aspect that translated very well from the book was the family dynamic. The movie revolves around the sisters, and the comfortable bantering and bickering really sold it for me. You can tell that the cast was really close while filming, and the movie conveyed the exact feelings of coziness and home that came when I read the book. 

Although the 2019 Little Women adaptation is one of my favorite movies to date, the books will always be better. I encourage you if you’ve only seen the movie to read the book, as it is a classic tale full of family, love, and sisterhood. 

-Asli B. 

Little Women, in all of its adapted forms, is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Book Review: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

little_women_coverLittle Women, a classic which was first published in 1868, is about four sisters–Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy–who learn, with their mother’s guidance, to overcome the many obstacles that come their way.

As the first scene opens, all the girls are complaining about the coming Christmas, for which their mother said no gifts would be purchased or exchanged due to the hard winter ahead of them, and the fact that their father was off fighting in the war. By the end of the book, however, all of the girls’ lives have changed drastically. Years older, and some of them married, they now are gracious and giving women, who have learned many life lessons.

While reading this book, I felt that the sisterly bond between all the girls was very strong. Jo and Beth have a special bond that is tested to the highest extent at one point in the story. This sisterly bond is not always perfect, however. Jo’s quick temper causes a fight between her and Amy, which leads to more issues. Their mother, like she does so many times in the novel, gives the girls advice to resolve the issue.

My favorite character or sister in the book is Jo. I found her to be a funny character, and I also liked how she acts like a tomboy when she is expected to act like a girl. It causes her to have a unique character and entertaining spirit. Jo reminds me of my own sister who can always find a way to make others laugh.

My favorite part of this book was seeing how the then young, selfish girls changed during the course of the book and how different their lives are at the end of the novel.
I believe this book has a right to be considered a classic because the plot and the book altogether are extremely well written and have scenes that may interest a variety of age groups. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10, because a few parts did not catch my attention as much as others. I would definitely recommend this novel to others who are interested in a realistic fictional read.

– Leila S., 8th grade