Little Women

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +4

If you've never read LITTLE WOMEN, the March family from Concord, Massachusetts, will need an introduction. Four sisters, Jo (Winona Ryder), Meg (Trini Alvarado), Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst) live with their mother (Susan Sarandon). Their father is a member of the Union Army, but the Civil War seems far removed from Concord. The girls are exceptionally close though very different. Jo is the free spirited tomboy who writes stories for them to act out. Meg is sensible and mature, always the perfect lady. Beth is frail and quiet, a gifted musician, and Amy, the youngest, is mischievous, funny and just a bit spoiled. Their mother loves them all unconditionally. When Laurie, a handsome young boy, comes to live with his wealthy grandfather next door, the sisters eagerly accept him as a brother into their closed "society." The five become inseparable, and Laurie (Christian Bale) seems especially close to the rebellious Jo. Meg is the first to fall in love, much to Jo's consternation. She resents any hint of separation among the close-knit family. The film follows this delightful family through tragedy, triumphs and disappointments in beautiful settings. The title may scare the men away, but this is truly a movie all can enjoy.

LITTLE WOMEN presents a wonderful opportunity for the public to respond positively to this Christmas gift from Columbia Pictures "a thoroughly wholesome, entertaining film with no offensive material." When one of the sisters exclaims something is "awful," she is admonished for using a slang word. My, how times have changed! When Meg shows up at a fancy ball in a low-cut dress, Laurie, like a dutiful big brother might do, tells her she is showing a part of herself no one should see. Young Amy accidentally falls through an ice pond and nearly drowns, but that scene is neither violent nor gratuitous. A broken hearted Laurie turns to a playboy lifestyle, implying that he is drinking too much and womanizing. Jo sacrifices her lovely long hair by selling it so her mother can buy a train ticket to visit their hospitalized father. Mrs. March allows her daughters to be individuals. When Jo finds herself frustrated with no plans for the future, her mother encourages her to go to New York to seek a writing career. Amy, too, is allowed to accompany a wealthy aunt to Paris to study art. Louisa May Alcott's book has entertained readers for four generations, the film will do the same.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: None, but little girl accidentally falls through ice

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some alcohol drinking

Other: Strong family values; unselfish sacrifice

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Ten and older

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