Monday, January 13, 2020

Little Women (and the power of relating)

If you've been on the internet at all the last few weeks, you've probably seen a trailer advertised for the 2019 Little Women movie. Maybe you've even seen friends lending their opinions to social media. I'm here to add my voice to the crowd in praising it as a film but also diving into why I found it to be so masterful.

I was thrilled to see Little Women nominated for a host of Academy Awards, because I do think the film deserves it. But it wasn't the movie's female director, predominantly female cast, historically accurate portrayal of a woman's plight, or breathtaking cinematography that made it memorable to me, as Hollywood is espousing.

I think the reason I loved it so much was simply because I related to it.

I've consumed a lot of movies and books in my lifetime, but the ones that stick with me are the ones I relate to. The ones that touched me in ways I didn't expect, resounded with something deeply personal. 

The beauty of the entire story of Little Women to me is that it takes a single family and shows you a million different sides of life. Different dreams, different life paths; different virtues, different struggles ... all born out of a shared upbringing. I think that the story succeeds in offering true diversity in character. And by doing so, it also offers a wealth of points for readers (or viewers) to grab onto and say, "I feel that. I understand because that's me."

For me, I'm always going to relate to Meg as the firstborn girl. The one who has the traditional dreams and won't be laughed at for them. 

I also relate to Jo as a restless soul with a pen in her hand, with which she hopes to make a difference.

Perhaps you're more like Beth, Amy, or even Laurie.

This particular version of Little Women did well, I think, because it chose to tell more than just Jo's story. Greta Gerwig took a beloved classic and filmed it to create a contrast between life as an adolescent and life as an adult. By doing this, it gave everyone something to relate to. Loss. Growing up. Dreams. Disenchantment. Struggle. This made each character's personal journey more powerful and authentic, despite how much they were like us.

So as a writer, keep in mind that people don't always need something brand new. They just need something familiar framed in a new light, with new people living it.

I hope all of you go see the new Little Women and thoroughly enjoy it for the masterpiece that it is. (Yes, even if you didn't like the book!)

The magic of story always amazes me, no matter the medium, and this movie's rendition of one of my favorite classics was no different.


Long time no see! This post was going to be an Instagram post, but I decided the blog needed dusting off, and I needed more room. ;)

But that wasn't exactly a typical review, was it? Have you seen the new movie? Read the book? Which March sister do you relate to most? Tell me your thoughts!!