Top Ten Tuesday: When you’ve had enough of Little Women. And Classics that will not make way for contemporary stories.

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.

OR

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?

Here are some examples of upcoming retellings that are blowing my mind with how creative they are.

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.

27 Comments

  • Greg says:

    I like all those ideas. 🙂

  • LOL, don’t hold back!

    I don’t see anything wrong with people reading older books like Shakespeare or whatever (even in class… we discussed a Jack London short story in my boy’s literature class today) but I do think we need to mix it up a bit and get the newer stuff in too. I don’t watch too many movies… not with all those great books coming out all the time! Maybe if it’s been done in the last… 20 years… we don’t need another one for a while?

    If you’re going to do classics, there’s a lot more out there.

    • Verushka says:

      IKR? LOL I had heaps to get off my chest lol!!

      I don’t see anything wrong with it either, but for me, I have an issue with it being the same authors and playwrights — from 140-150 years ago. I can’t wrap my head around there being nothing in 150 years that would be more applicable to students and kids today, you know? Even a different contemporary of Allcott — anything different, that’s all.

  • Anika says:

    I love The Hate U Give and On the Come Up! I see Red, White and Royal Blue everywhere, definitely need that needs to go on my TBR.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

  • I like your ideas. I happen to adore Little Women (the original book) because it reminds me of being snowed in at Christmas and reading it. So I guess it’s the connection more than the actual book maybe. But I totally get what you’re saying and you make valid points. I do have an arc of a retelling, Meg & Jo, to read this December but again, I think I’m excited for it because of the connections, not the tale.

    Do I make any sense at all this morning???? 🙂

    • Verushka says:

      I hear you on the connection to a book and a classic in this case, and that is exactly what I have with P&P, but I don’t want to see another version of it, you know? Meg and Jo, I have no problems with, I think it’s an interesting angle on the story. (and yes, you are making PERFECT sense!)

  • Lydia says:

    I love Little Women, but I totally agree that Hollywood needs to let that story rest and tell other coming-of-age tales about young women for at least the next couple of decades. 🙂

    My TTT.

  • Hollywood is f**king lazy hahaha if that ain’t the truth! Love that!

  • Honestly, I’m not interested in another Little Women movie either. I want some fresh movies out there.

  • My husband and I were just talking about all the remakes of original movies. It’s like Hollywood can’t come up with anything new anymore.

  • I haven’t read Little Women. I also haven’t seen the movie(s). Maybe because so many people overhyped the book to me as a young person, then they over-advertised the Winona Ryder version of the movie. I have issues with things that get *too* popular. It took me years to sit down and watch Buffy. I still haven’t bothered with either generation of 90210 (shrug)

    Any of your other options sound like a better use for a movie studio’s dollar, rather than just reusing the same scripts and sets and wardrobe.

    • Verushka says:

      I hear you on hype — hype and over-hype definitely turns me off stuff. For a good long while I felt like all I was hearing about was this Little Women remake — as if it was a new thing and it just drove me over the edge and this post wa born.

  • I’d love to see Sadie and On the Come Up on the big screen. 🙂

    Check out my TTT

  • I kind of feel like this is indicative of our current film industry – everything seems to be about playing it safe, appealing to the nostalgic masses and making heaps of money. Few studios want to take any risks, and the viewing public seems so ready to escape into nostalgia, into previous eras that they have no actual experience in, but which they can look at through sepia-colored glasses. With all the sequels and remakes coming out, it’s just so incredibly boring. I would never tell anyone not to enjoy the books and films they enjoy, but how about we just branch out every once in a while and try some new for a change???

    • Verushka says:

      I think I’ve been in the honeymoon phase of enjoying comic book movies for a long time, but these days it takes something totally different to get me out to watch them. On the other hand, I see Linda Hamilton taking centre stage in a Terminator movie, and I want to see her be badass. But I’m aware there are so many other things new that could have got made instead of another Terminator movie. Sighs. Yeah, we need something new in Hollywood.

  • Sam@wlabb says:

    I am not specifically tired of Little Women, but rather, of reboots and the same adaptions being done over and over again. I agree with you, it’s lazy. If you are going to retell it, make it fresh, make it modern.

  • Angela says:

    I’ve never actually read Little Women, but how many different iterations of the same book can there be in tv/movies?? It’s like every generation has to have their own version. I don’t mind retellings, though, especially ones that are updated to modern times. You still get the feel of the classic but it’s more relevant to things that are happening today.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    Actually, I don’t want anyone messing with my original reading of this book as a child. Alcott’s Little Men and Jo’s Boys are also favorites I don’t want messed with.

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