If you’re new to my blog, welcome to Top Ten Tuesday. It’s held over at That Artsy Reader Girl, where every week bloggers list their top 10 being asked about. This week’s topic is supposed to be about our favourite bookmarks, but honestly I stopped using them bc I kept losing them, and now I use whatever is handy.
Instead, today, I’m going to bitch about another adaptation of Little Women. Yes, another one. I know this book is beloved — I count Pride and Prejudice as one of my all time favourite books but I will cry in frustration if I ever see another damned adaptation of it — kind of like how hard I roll my eyes now when i see a trailer of the new Little Women movie.
Little Women was published in 1868 and 1869 in two volumes. And in the 149-150 years since the book was written, there has apparently been no book written about women coming of age that can qualify for a couple of million dollars to be made into a movie.
Or you know, Hollywood is f**king lazy.
Which makes more sense?
These are some of the stories I’ve read that are more relevant IMO than Little Women:
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: Indian women. Widows at that. I can see the white men (and women) in Hollywood clutching their metaphorical pearls at a story that forces us to consider how we as a society, no matter what our damned colour is, treat widows and women.
The Hate U Give: Yes, it’s been made into a movie, but it’s proof that we don’t need another Little Women adaptation when gems like this that are more than relevant to society now are out there.
Red, White and Royal Blue (Or American Royals): a love story that crosses oceans, deals with coming to terms with your sexuality in the harsh glare of the public.
Anatomy of a Scandal: there could be nothing better for the era we’re in right now.
The Women of Primrose Square: Adult women coming to terms with who they are. Just as powerful.
On the Come up: is a story about staying true to who you are in a world that keeps trying to tell you who you should be.
Sadie: will tear your damn heart out and them rip it into a million pieces. This is a story about abuse, about what it does to these sisters when neglect happens. Life isn’t filled with happy endings and having relationships with older Professors (which you know there’s something to be said about this in the #Metoo era) — it’s brutal and unforgiving, and should not be dulled by the lens of history, and utterly removing it from relevance to women and girls now, IMHO.
We’re a society who is grappling with #Metoo, kids in schools are dealing with sexism, dress codes, sexual assualt and sexual abuse, and reproductive rights. But Hollywood goes, let’s do an adaptation of Little Women! Our audiences are screaming for yet another movie, that is exactly the same as the previous one, and even better we’ll get a bunch of talented actors that will make it feel new again even though it’s exactly the same thing as before.**
** I am aware there are heaps of people who adore classics and still feel they are relevant to today’s audiences. This is all IMO of course.
Children of Blood and Bone: Hallelujah, this is being made into a movie already and I cannot wait.
How about Australian: Laurinda, which is about being an immigrant and fitting in, or when Michael met Mina, which is a love story between an white Australian boy and a refugee girl from Afghanistan. And What i like about me: No matter what country you’re in, this is a coming of age story that will resonate.
How about a Little Women retelling? (yes, that’s going start an entirely different argument, but I guess that’s why this current movie doesn’t bring anything different to the story)
Four queer sisters, or a mix of sexualities — and hell, if it makes Hollywood feel better about queerness on screen: how about focusing on Jo coming to terms with her sexuality, while everyone else around her are as straight as arrows? Or, how about a story about four (adopted) sisters, some of whom are NOT white?
What about a contemporary retelling — I’ll even suggest keeping everything single thing about every single sister the same, but having their father being with them while their mother is a soldier at war?
Classics have their place. But 149-150 years later, it’s time for us to move on past them. I get that they are important stories, but 100s of years after they are written, you cannot tell me a story about Little Women or Shakespeare is going to resonate as powerfully as more contemporary stories will — as books and movies that are telling the stories of the people watching them.
Here’s a scary thought: imagine in a 149-150 years, that school kids will still be discussing Little Women, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare.