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  • Writer's picturezandaleeindigo

Little Women Makes Me Happy

After seeing it for the first time in theaters, at home over my Christmas break from college, I can safely say Greta Gerwig's sophomore film Little Women (2019) is one of the coziest films I've ever seen.

Over my winter break, I had a lot on my mind regarding my freshman year of school, my chosen major, and my uncertain future, not to mention the millions of other things constantly running through my head as a compulsive over thinker. My preferred method of coping/escaping from the woes of young adulthood for years has been consuming some form of media, (movies, music, plays, etc.) hence me having this blog at all. That is to say, Little Women ended up being a movie I watched in an attempt to escape my troubled mind, and it ended up being all the comfort I've ever needed and more.

The story already is appealing to me, it's a coming of age one (and those are my favorite movies for reasons I plan to touch on in a future post) that intertwine the lives of 4 very different sisters. I believe everyone has at least one sister they relate to most, if not a mixture of a few. Everyone can in someway relate to Meg, Amy, Jo, and Beth. But I think Greta Gerwigs direction is what really brings the film to life and touches me so deeply.

Gerwig has already said the source material was a staple of her childhood, Little Women is one of her favorite novels, and it's clear she had a vision of how the film should feel and she took special care to deliver just that. There's a lovely video of her doing notes on a scene here where you can see her thought process in action and you can see how passionate and attentive she was during it's creation.

From the costuming to the filtered time jumps throughout the movie, Gerwig is able to create a homey feeling as we follow the March sisters through their adolescence. Somehow all of my favorite actors made their way into this movie, and I couldn't have been happier----- the casting is perfect. She managed to pick actors that have amazing chemistry with each other (a prime example being Timmy and Saoirse, duh) and it gave the movie a feeling of already being lived in which served it so well. I know there are rumors Emma Stone was to play the role of Meg, but I truly think Emma Watson was a great fit. As much as I love Stone, I think Watson really embodied the mature, lady-like older sister in a way only she can. Eliza Scanlen made Beth feel like a living doll, and I cry every time she dies without fail. Florence Pugh plays Amy in a way that I, being the baby of the family myself, can only describe as the perfect representation of what being the youngest feels like. She also has some great comedic one liners in this movie that always make me laugh. And while Jo March and Christine "Lady Bird" McPhearson seem to be two young women cut from the same cloth, Saoirse Ronan is an amazing actress and is magnetic on screen as always.

The rest of the cast followed suit, they fit all their characters perfectly. And yes that includes Timothée Chalamet as one of the most frustrating male characters to ever exist, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence. Honestly, after my third rewatch of this film I think I'm really starting to see Laurie in a different light than I originally had.

I remember when this movie first came out some people wrote countless tweets about how much they hated Laurie bouncing from sister to sister like a f*ckboy and I couldn't believe it. Yes, sure Laurie was rejected by Jo and went to Amy in the end but he was a young boy, he had to sort out his feelings, he still needed to grow. Again, these were my naive original thoughts, and now that I've seen the movie a few times I recognize Laurie is kinda the worst ???

But I'm absolutely convinced that the reason why I was able to look at him without an ounce of scrutiny when he finally decided to propose to Amy, is because he was played by Chalamet. I again plan to delve into this in a future blog post, look at me teasing not one but two things in one article, but he consistently brings this boyish charm that inevitably wins you over and distracts you from whatever horrible grievance he's committed. So when he does kiss Amy for the first time, instead of shaking your head in disapproval you find yourself grinning like an idiot.

And on top of that you now like the idea of Amy and Laurie. You rationalize it, "Jo was just a childhood infatuation not real love. He really loves Amy... maybe he always has... Jo was right they're too alike they would've never lasted... Amy is the perfect person to balance out Laurie they should be together." But then you start to think more and realize maybe the only reason you think Laurie and Amy should be together is because you relate to Amy most of all the Marches. And you feel vindicated seeing her get something, especially when that something is Timothée Chalamet. So you take a step back and decide Laurie is in fact the worst, but still you don't really care, and the cycle repeats all over again.

My absolute favorite part of the movie is and will always be the ending. Even when I saw this film for the first time with some friends and didn't get super emotional, I cry every time Jo gets her book made. There's something so rewarding seeing this young women that we've been going on a journey with finally achieve what she'd been working toward for so long, not to mention it's dedicated to Beth. Seeing Jo with the red leather bounded book in her hand is so inspiring and that footage being intercut with all of the girls and their spouses coming together to celebrate Marmee's birthday at Jo's school.... I sob. It leaves this wholesome, tragic, exciting, messy story of three ( I'm sorry ) girls coming of age on a hopeful note that wraps you up like a blanket and reminds you, you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

And that yes, sounds completely cliche but this entire entry was stream of consciousness so it's just me being truthful. I love this movie so much and it makes me ridiculously happy.

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May 12, 2020

As always, this is an excellent post! I love the addition of the external link to Greta Gerwig's thoughts in action, but I hated that you did not include a clip--or a transcript even!--of your favorite line in the movie! Ugh! Overall, though, I look forward and am on the edge of my seat to see what else you will explore--especially in your two teasers (one on why you like coming-of-age movies and one on Timothy C.). Thanks for explaining why you dig Little Women so dang much! :)

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