Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women turns 150 this year and the filmic world is celebrating by releasing three versions. A PBS version already aired this year and a Greta Gerwig directed version starring Emma Watson, Saorise Ronan, Meryl Streep and Timothee Chalemet is coming for Christmas next year. In between Alcott fans will have to make do with Clare Neiderpreum modernized overly earnest and sanitized update where Lea Thompson is the only notable star.
This seventh film iteration of Little Women was produced and distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment and Pinnacle Peak both faith based distributors. That means all the gentle and charming and none of the rough edge themes and tones of Alcott’s classic get through.
The 2018 setting only makes its more confusing and ironically more old fashion. Without a modern point of view all the updates of setting land with a thud when the plot beats keep their 19th century stylings.
All the March sisters except for Jo keep their genteel charms and ambitions. Jo, who was probably a character 150 years ahead of her time, survives the update and dumbing down because her independent streak and feminist view points puts her in her proper time. She would feel right at home as the heroine of a modern romantic comedy with a touch of tragedy, like Little Women turns out to be— as she finds the man of her life but loses her independence.