Little Women (1994) – Ace Mini-Review

Little Women
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Bale
Written by: Robin Swicord
Book by: Louisa May Alcott
Directed by: Gillian Armstrong
Canada/U.S.A., 1994

How good is this movie?

A sweet movie based on a classic story. The life lessons still feel applicable, and the social commentary is enhanced by adding details from Alcott’s own life. I’m not a big fan of Jo’s voiceover narration, but most of the characters are well played, with Kirsten Dunst being especially perfect as Amy.

How ace is this movie?

The first half of the movie deals primarily with family bonds. Jo is close to her sisters, and much of the drama involves her fear of losing them. Her relationship with Laurie could easily be mistaken for a budding romance, but it remains mostly platonic. This portrayal of a close, opposite-sex friendship is great while it lasts. Unfortunately, it eventually takes a back seat to the romantic arcs, and the two friends share only a couple of scenes as adults. Jo herself comes off as either asexual or aromantic for much of the movie, insisting that she will never marry, but she does eventually fall in love. This still leaves room for her to be demi, but the fact is that heterosexual romance becomes the happy ending for almost all the children. The only one who doesn’t end up married is the tragically-fated Beth.

3.5 Stars; 3 Aces

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