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The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

‘Little Women’ Gets a Modern Twist…and It Works

Review of "Little Women"
Meg (Melanie Stone), Jo (Sarah Davenport) Marmee (Lea Thompson) Amy (Elise Jones)
and Beth (Allie Jennings) (Pure Flix Entertainment)
MOVIE REVIEW
You’ve probably didn’t notice, but there is movie sneaking into theaters this weekend with a name you’ve heard of, maybe have even have read the book or have seen one of the various movies made about it, but this is the first modern version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and surprisingly, the story which was written in 1868 still works, mostly. There are a few scenes that didn’t time travel well, but overall, this is a pretty good flick.

In case you are unaware, this is a story about the March family. Papa March (Bart Johnson) is off to war while Mama March, or Marmee (Lea Thompson) is at home raising their four daughters without him. The family doesn’t have a lot of money, so the girls make up their own fun by telling stories and creating their own club in the attic of their home. Jo (Aimee Lynne Johnson and Sarah Davenport) is the oldest, headstrong daughter who knows in her heart that she will one day become a famous author. As the oldest, she feel entitled to boss around her younger siblings: Meg (Melanie Stone) who wants nothing more than to get married and have children, Beth (Reese Oliveira and Allie Jennings) who doesn’t know what’s she wants out of life and just wants to enjoy her time with her sisters and Amy (played by Jane Susan Miller, Elise Jones and Taylor Murphy) wants to become a famous artist.

The story is told in a series of flashbacks of pivotal times in the lives the March sisters from wanting to branch out from being a “homeschool kid,” to first loves, to an illness in the family and everything in-between. As the little girls grow into little women (see what I did there?), so do their relationships with the men in the lives. Lucas Grabeel (best known for playing the snotty rich kid in High School Musical) plays Laurie, who lives next door, Stuart Edge plays Brooke, a love interest for Beth, and Ian Bohen who plays a professor and proofreader of Jo’s many manuscripts.

Review of "Little Women"
(Pure Flix Entertainment)
This is director Clare Niederpruem’s first feature film and she’s done a fine job. Lea Thompson shines as the matriarch of the family, and you wouldn’t expect anything less from her. In fact, all of the actresses are good in the roles. Unfortunately, Sarah Davenport’s characterization of Jo seems over the top. I know that Jo is a tomboy with anger issue but Davenport isn’t subtle in any scene that she’s in. I can’t tell if this was a choice of Niederpruem’s or if Davenport just can’t stop overacting. When her mother tries to remind Jo of her good qualities like her sense of humor and kindness, I had to wonder, “Have you met this girl?” Honestly, she’s pretty grating. By the end of the movie though, it becomes pretty clear that Jo has grown the most out of the four girls.

Released by Pure Flix, known for faith-based films like God’s Not Dead, some parents may be disappointed that Little Women isn’t a “religious movie,” while others will be relieved. The story has plenty of values found in the good book without quoting it. As for the story, little girls (and their mothers) will appreciate this new version’s heart and possibly relate to the characters a bit more. As for the success of the movie, it may not become a huge financial hit but you can count on it being a huge hit with all of the “little women” who see it.


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