December 2017: This movie is now showing on TV. It would likely be featured on the Hallmark Channel but I’ve seen it on local stations as well. It is also available for purchase on Amazon.
I went into this movie preparing to hate it. I don’t watch Lifetime and am not a huge fan of “chick flicks” (with the exception of “Pretty Woman” – Richard Gere <sigh> 🙂
I am also wary of fan fiction surrounding Little Women although The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly and March by Geraldine Brooks were both terrific.
However, “The March Sisters at Christmas” proved to be a very pleasant surprise. Here’s what made it work for me:
These four women were very appealing. Many of my favorite scenes featured the four sisters together. Kudos to director John Stimpson for choosing the right people and creating a real sisterhood that was so key to the original story of Little Women. I also loved the chemistry between Jo and Teddy (and liked the fact that Laurie was known as Teddy). My only complaint was that he was a little too much in the beef cake department. 🙂
Twists and turns
I liked the way the movie was not literally faithful to the book but was faithful in spirit. All the different twists in the movie made perfect sense. Amy as a theatrical rather than an artist worked for me (and coincidentally, she was also portrayed that way in The Little Women Letters) – it brought in both the theatrics from the story and Amy’s artist temperament.
Jo was perfect. My husband at one point said that Jo was “annoying” and she was in the original story – abrasive and bossy, but also generous and kindhearted.
Meg was almost overly motherly, especially towards Beth; I liked the fact that it wasn’t certain at first between Meg and John and that there was another man in the mix.
Beth is a hard character to bring to the 21st century and at times the other sisters seemed to treat her as if she needed therapy because she lacked ambition and confidence. I was glad to see the kindness that is Beth’s most sterling quality brought forth with the Christmas presents.
I loved the brewing feud between Jo and Amy, playing itself out with an “evil” tweet! It wasn’t evident right away how Amy would get her revenge (I thought she was going to cut the power in the house and cause Jo to lose her story) and her injury from the water heater which brought Jo to her senses worked for me.
I appreciated the fact that the writer(s) had actually studied the book and remained faithful to it while at the same time showing some imagination in how the story would play out in current time. It again confirmed what all us Little Women fans know – that this story is universal.
What didn’t work
What didn’t quite work for me was how Jo and Teddy’s relationship worked out. It seemed like two weeks was not nearly enough time for Teddy to get over Jo and fall in love with Amy. But that’s TV for you! I also felt that Jo’s relationship with Marcus Bhaer was rushed and underdeveloped. Still, I liked the fact that he was the one holding back rather than Jo.
I really enjoyed “The March Sisters at Christmas” and was very pleasantly surprised. It was a lot of fun to watch (especially spotting the scenes from my hometown. And yes, I spotted all the Concord scenes too!).
You can catch “The March Sisters at Christmas” again today at 5pm on Lifetime. I have it on my DVR.
So, what did you think?
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8 Replies to ““The March Sisters at Christmas:” So, what did you think?”
Oh,Wow! I didn’t know that this movie was even made. Thanks for the heads up. Little Women is a great movie and I love watching it for the holidays so having this new version is awesome!
Hope you enjoy it!
You just voiced EVERYTHING I was feeling about the movie! I also DVRed it so I can watch it again, which I already did once and plan to again. I feel I don’t even need to say anything at all about the movie, I will just send everyone to you instead. 🙂 Thank you!
Thank YOU. I wrote to the director, John Stimpson as he is local, and he reiterated what I said about channeling the spirit of the story and the sisters rather than the literal meaning. He did a good job!
Yes, I agree. Very clever, irreverent, and, I think, pretty close to how the March sisters might actually be in the 21st century. I just read another blog about how this re-imagining was “sacrilegious” and “blasphemous”. I totally agree about the beefcake. Bhaer should have been about 10 years older.
And Bhaer was such a minor character that it didn’t matter all that much. I don’t see Little Women as a sacred cow as so many books, films, etc. have played around with the story. It’s yet another testament to the classic nature of the story, a good thing.
I am usually way more forgiving what it comes to the modern adaptations (when the adaptation follows the original I can get more nit picky). Such a baby face Bhaer and extra masculine Laurie (quite a big contrast to the books). I really liked Meg´s and Beth´s interactions in this film and Jo was pretty good. Amy ruining Jo´s tweeter career was pretty clever but why they made her burn down the house. I am so tired with the underdeveloped Amy character arcs in the films. This film completely flipped my head since after seeing John Shea as older Mr. Lawrence I keep seeing Beth March as Lex Luthor´s adopted daughter.
LOL! I know what you mean. 🙂