I always consider the 1994 version of Little Women to be a perfect film adaptation. I remember being so excited to see it when it came out, and I was still surprised at how good it was. It was a joy to watch from beginning to end. The adaptation of the novel is very faithfully done, and the acting is excellent, particularly the interactions among the March women who are the picture of a real family. I think it’s a wonderful movie for anyone who is a fan of the book or period films. It’s also great for families to watch together.
I’d like to add it to another category, though. I think Little Women is a fantastic Christmas movie. Don’t believe me? Hear me out. Of course, it’s not what comes to mind right away for Christmas like It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story, but I stand by my recommendation. If you want to settle down and enjoy a movie that puts you in the holiday mood this month, give this one a try. To further convince you, I have compiled five compelling reasons why this is a great movie for Christmas time.
#1 Important Moments Happen at Christmas Time
Just like the book, the first part of this tale of the March family begins and ends at Christmas. It’s a time of great importance to this little family, and it prompts big changes for them. For instance, the letter from the father, in the beginning, scene makes the girls really start considering what kind of women they would like to grow up to be. A year later, we reflect with them on how much has happened in the past year, and how many changes have come to their lives. Of course, there’s the moving moment as the father comes home and a huge turning point for Meg who finally admits her feelings for John Brooke! Christmas is a time for reflecting on the past year, on big changes and on important revelations just like the Little Women Christmas.
#2 Traditional Christmas Celebrations
The movie portrays the March family Christmas as an idyllic, old-fashioned holiday some people may dream about but never actually have. The setting and atmosphere draw you right in! Orchard House is beautiful and welcoming with the old-fashioned Christmas decorations, music and food. Everything is cozy and comfy. A large number of people in the world don’t have white Christmases, but snow can still summon thoughts of Santa Claus and the holidays, and we get lots of beautiful snowy scenery and winter fun.
Jo and Laurie skate together on the pond, and there are sledding and snowball fights outside Laurie’s house with Mr. Brooks as an unwilling target! After Christmas, there’s the Christmas party at the Moffat’s grand and beautifully decorated home. On top of all that, we get to see the Marches embracing the true spirit of Christmas by giving assistance to a needy family. There’s so much Christmas going on as the story unfolds!
#3 It’s all about family!
The holidays are supposed to be a time of reconnecting with family and strengthening bonds, and this movie represents that beautifully. The Christmas moments have true poignancy, but it’s also the overarching theme throughout. Seeing that depicted so beautifully fits right in with the holiday season.
#4 It’s not cheesy!
Yes, Christmas movies are usually allowed a pass for being cheesy and overly sentimental, but it does my heart good to watch a movie which sparks so many Christmas feelings, but which isn’t too sugary. Don’t get me wrong, there’re lots that are adorable and sweet and heartwarming in this, but it is tempered by realistic issues and troubles. For instance, Mr. March is away at war and cannot be with his family at Christmas and think how many families can also appreciate this difficult situation. There are family squabbles and disagreements throughout the year. The Marches also cope with real loss, and many of us understand how the emotions of missing lost loved ones are magnified over the holidays. The everyday Christmas movie doesn’t touch on those themes much, but they are so much a part of the season.
#5 That soundtrack!
I whip out this album without fail every Christmas. The soundtrack is one of my favourites and for me there is a real Christmas feel to them. There are soft gentle melodies that tug at your heart and arouse the softer feelings of the season. One piece has the March girls gently singing a hymn. Best of all, there are moments full of bells and triumphant horns which are a clarion cry of joy and praise which fits with Christmas perfectly. I’m not a music expert, but that’s how I feel.
Whether this is a Christmas movie or not for you, I highly recommend you put this on some time during your celebrations this year. At this time of family and numerous emotions, I’m sure it will fit your mood.
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