Little Women and crying

As any self-respecting girl growing up in the 90s, I was in love with Little Women (1994). It was wholesome and feminist and solidified Christian Bale's place as a vest-wearing heartthrob. Rewatching it this weekend, I realized it's also a neverending tear-fest. I can't help it. At least a third of all the scenes make me tear up. If it's not Beth crying, it's Thomas Newman's gorgeous soundtrack.

So friends, in honor of my tear ducts being cleansed from this recent viewing and the fact that it's actually a well-made film, I'm going to share some of my favorite moments.

So yes, Eric Stoltz is in this movie. I just felt the need to point that out. Also, the credits are pretty.

Why is the March family so heart-warming?

Laurie (Christian Bale) makes his entrance with a dapper plaid jacket.

Sisters wearing funny hats and monocles.

This conversation is well played. Jo (Winona Ryder) steamrolls the conversation after some initial awkwardness and Laurie tries to keep up.

Mr. Brooke (Eric Stoltz) in Civil War era sunglasses. Obviously.

Further encouraging the bearing of souls and the telling of the most appalling secrets.

Please notice the kittens. Too much cute for me to handle.

I really like seeing Meg (Trini Alvarado) and Laurie share a scene together. It's telling of Laurie's relationship with the whole March family.

Feminist life lessons with Marmie (Susan Sarandon).

Amy (Kirsten Dunst) channels my mother with regard to Jo's hair, "Your one beauty!"

Hi, I'm Beth (Claire Danes), and I'm going to cry while holding a sick German Baby and then make Kelsy cry.

I love that the film abridges all of Amy's insufferable Aunt March chapters in the novel to one kind of endearing scene.

Ugh, it's like the director Gillian Armstrong knew that Christmas and people crying are going to touch my heart.

Transcendentalist/hippie wedding!

It's a difficult transition to four years later (it's pretty awkward in the book, too). The body language in this scene mostly sells the premise that Jo doesn't feel romantic about him.

Although she does feel romantic about a German and sexy Professor Bhaer (Gabriel Byrne). I am so glad they made him attractive instead of awkward as hell. (Seriously, Lousia May Alcott must have been pissed off writing a love interest for Jo.)

Oh, hi, Donal Logue. Of course you're in Little Women.

The opera Jo and Professor Bhaer see has awesome sets.

Speaking of awkward transitions, getting us to buy into a love story between Laurie and older Amy (Samantha Mathis) is tough work. They have few scenes together and not much chemistry. At least Christian Bale got to rock a douchey goatee and drink from a flask.

This dress is really pretty.

The simple piano arrangement of the film's theme combined with Hannah spreading flower petals over Beth's room makes me cry every time.

I might prefer goatee to mustache, personally, on Mr. Bale. I guess they're trying to indicate the passage of time and a mustache is so much more respectable?

Cute ginger baby!

Cute tiny dog!

Cheesy ending that I can quote by heart!

The film ends with these beautiful photographs of the March girls from the first half of the film when we meet them. It's a lovely good-bye for a film that is so engaging and covers so much time.

Did I miss any of your favorite moments?


  1. Fucking Claire Danes and her contagious tears. (Only in the context of this film, NOT EVER in My So-Called Life, in which she is basically the least likable protagonist ever.)

    P.S. You've ruined your best feature. Love, Mom.

  2. I love everything about this post. It makes me want to hang out with you and start our own version of movie commentaries that we sell to pop culture aficionados who actually watch movies with the commentary on.

    But the thing about selling a romance with Christian Bale is that you don't have to sell it that hard because it's Christian Bale. Also, you forgot to mention that during the awkward Jo and Laurie kiss there is a clearly visible spit string that dangles between them like a spaghetti noodle in Lady and the Tramp--only less romantic.

  3. That goatee is what ruined him for me...shudder.