Friday, October 18, 2013

Little Women: A Review

So in my last post, I promised a review on “Little Women” (the 1994) movie, would be forthcoming. Well here it is-coming forth. J Okay, sorry about that.

I read Little Women around…. Third grade? Fourth grade? I’m not exactly sure. I liked it. I liked An Old Fashioned Girl and A Rose in Bloom better though.
But it’s really growing on me. My problem with it was mostly this: Jo didn’t marry the cute, funny, sweet, and lonely Laurie. And they are so cute together! 

I always got the feeling Laurie just married Amy because he liked the March family so much and was determined to get in it, one way or another. I felt that Miss Alcott threw Professor Bhaer on us at the last minute and was like, “Do you really want Jo to end up with SOMEONE? Well then, you ASKED for it!” Mocking me with their incompatibility and extreme age difference. Humph.
Now my opinion isn’t exactly that. I still hold true to the statement that Jo and Laurie should have been together, but I grudgingly admit that Professor Bhaer has his virtues. There.

Now this is for the book, mind you. I just saw the 1994 movie about a month ago, and enjoyed myself hugely. I came to know Jo better. (I used to think her a bit boyish and over the top and semi revolutionary….) Now I feel I can connect with her more. I love to read, try to write, and I can get a bit mad and lose my temper at times too. (The scene where Amy burns Jo’s book is simply horrifying. If that EVER happened to me… well.)

I also came to like Professor Bhaer better. (The Prof. Bhaer’s accent and cuteness in the movie helped quite a bit…) BUT I still hold on to my Jo/Laurie hopes a little. I can’t help it. I still think that if Laurie wasn’t going to end up with Jo, he shouldn’t go for Amy. No, no, no. I feel, as Amy said in the movie, that she thinks he likes her for her family and not for herself.
 One thing that really spoke to me as I got older was the familial ties, the March sisters loving and close relationship, the general “kindred spiritness” of it all. That’s what I really love about classics. They often feature simple, wonderful, surprising, unusual everyday life.

This movie should have had me ranting and raving about how it’s not true to the book, and it’s a bit short, etc. But… with all its inaccuracies, it’s a wonderful movie that caught the essence of Little Women and has a wonderful soundtrack. Which is always a huge plus. I also thought the characters were fairly well cast, though I don’t remember Marmee being quite so “revolutionary” in her views and sometimes rather forward. Mr. March was not how I pictured him, but luckily he wasn’t in it much. Winona Ryder was a wonderful Jo. I have no complaints on that score.


One thing I want to stick in that doesn’t necessarily pertain to Little Women, but does pertain to Louisa May Alcott…I think some film director out there should get a hold of An Old Fashioned Girl or A Rose in Bloom. I would LOVE that! But I (or someone who is a devoted reader of such books, like myself) should supervise and make sure things are done right. Because there’s nothing worse than film writers and directors who positively RUIN a wonderful book. It is better off unmade than made badly. That’s all for my Little Women/Louisa May Alcott post. I hope you enjoyed!

P.S. I'm not completely sure what is going on with the font but it sort of looks like a typewriter, no? Next time I'll try to get it back to normal.

P.P.S. The ending was so cute. That's when Prof. Bhaer kind of got to me. :) Enjoy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review of Fiddler on the Roof

Hello all! So sorry that it's been a little while since my last post.... I really wanted to do Miss Dashwood's musicals week! So, along the same lines, I am reviewing Fiddler on the Roof!

I heard from several blogs that it was one of their top favorite movies... and I hadn't seen it! Luckily, it was on YouTube, and I watched the whole thing Sunday evening.

And it was marvelous! The music was wonderful, the story touching, and the movie was very well cast, IMHO.... especially Tevye.

The movie was not just fluff, either. It really got me to thinking about prejudices, about changing times, Tradition, and marriage (especially "outside the Faith." More on that later.)

I think it's so interesting that Tevye, a poor dairy farmer and a fairly uneducated man, shows such strength, patience, and wisdom.


He makes a ton of tough decisions. Allowing his eldest to marry the man of her choice after he made an arranged marriage with an old but wealthy butcher, allowing his second eldest to marry... I believe he's a communist, from his theories and his teachings of the Holy Book. :) "And the moral of the story is, don't trust an employer." RIIIIIGHT. But one of the most important decisions and one that really made me think was when he couldn't seem to accept Chava marrying a Christian.

I wondered what I thought about marrying outside my faith. I decided to ask my mom about it. She said she is living proof of that very thing because she did marry outside of her faith... sort of. My dad's mother was a Christian, but he wasn't really raised anything and still isn't. He's not atheist exactly, but....

Well, anyway, she said it might prove to be rather difficult to marry outside the faith, especially to someone who may be a devout something else, like Muslim or a Jew. My aunt said that she and my uncle really bonded over their faith, and she loved that they could support each other on this, and go to church together, and well... everything along those lines.

So I'm still thinking. I believe I'd have to REALLY REALLY love him to even consider such a thing. Because being a Christian would just be a wonderful, wonderful bond to have, and I think it is super important. I feel it would help everything out. But that's a big question and I think I'm just going to let the idea just float around for a little bit. What are your thoughts on marrying outside the faith?

Prejudice was also a serious issue. Why do others feel they are better than some people? That they are learning the "right" things and doing the "right" things or wearing the "right" things.... We have actually been discussing prejudice in English and we have decided prejudice is a society thing. You aren't born shunning people different from you. It is something you are taught as you go through life. It really hurt seeing all the hard working Jews kicked out of their homes and losing their jobs and losing their friends. And all because they were Jewish. Different. Not like "us." They had really done nothing wrong.

 I've never really liked bittersweet endings. I liked the end of Fiddler on the Roof I suppose, but at the same time I didn't like it at all, you know?


Anyway, away from deep topics.... the music was so fun! The bottle dance was fascinating, "If I Were a Rich Man" had me laughing, especially with Tevye's odd dance! "Sunrise, Sunset" was beautiful. I could go on, but let me suffice to say it was lovely.

I feel I've learned more about the Jewish faith and their beliefs. I was very interested in their ceremony and ideals and prayers. The peasant way of life in Russia then was a real eye-opener too. There was such a wide gap between the poor and the middle class!

Golde was an interesting character too. She was tough and busy and impatient; but at the same time she was soft on the inside and content, and considerate. Rather confusing, huh? And her an Tevye's "Do You Love Me?'" was sweet. I got kind of annoyed that it took her so long to admit it though....

And by the end of the movie I was glad at least one "tradition" is really no longer in practice: arranged marriages. This song explains it all:

It was a wonderful movie and I'm sure I shall be watching it again soon! Have any of you seen Fiddler on the Roof? What did you think of it? What are your opinions on any of my "topics?'"  (Keep it kind) Finally, I make no promises, but I sign off hoping to come out with a review of the movie Little Women (1994)soon.