Little Women: A New England Fairytale

This week I stumbled upon the 2019 adaptation of Little Women while browsing through Netflix. I eagerly clicked, wary of its 2-hour run time. Nevertheless, I pushed through with my ever-waning attention span. I couldn’t stop smiling as I was transported to a very specific nostalgia of my youth. While it felt like the characters in the film were painted in broad strokes, my memory couldn’t quite piece together why their portrayals seemed vague. I was overtaken by this distant recollection of growing up in New England and reading abridged tales of the March sisters. I don’t remember all the plot lines or the exact idiosyncrasies of the girls, but watching the film felt like sitting before a lit fireplace – lulling, comforting, and familiar. Though I couldn’t pinpoint particulars, there was something so homey about the narrative. I had almost definitely done an elementary school project on Louisa May Alcott, her work quintessential to a little woman’s upbringing in New England. Watching these characters on the screen gave me hazy flashbacks to the Little Women coloring book of my youth. It was a true New England fairytale, the sisters just as much princesses as Snow White or Cinderella. Yet unlike the Disney girls, there was a different fondness that came over me as I was reintroduced to Jo, Amy, Meg, and Beth. Their story is part of mine, and it was delightful to meet the girls again in this charming performance.

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