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Little Women | 2019 | PG | – 2.3.1

content-ratingsWhy is “Little Women” rated PG? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic elements and brief smoking.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a few kissing scenes, many discussions of marriage and the lack of options for women, and some cleavage revealing outfits; a few references to men dying in war and injuries suffered in battle, a couple of children dying from illness, a young woman falls into a frozen lake, and several arguments and scuffles between sisters not ending in injury; and some name-calling and mild language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


The latest film version of Louisa May Alcott’s novel about four sisters navigating growing up and exploring their options together as they reach adulthood — a contemporary version was released in 2018. With Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Louis Garrel, Jayne Houdyshell, Chris Cooper and Meryl Streep. Directed by Greta Gerwig. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in French without translation. [Running Time: 2:14]

Little Women SEX/NUDITY 2

 – A man and a woman kiss at their wedding and a few more times later. A man and woman kiss. A woman chases a man that is leaving on a train and she tells him that she doesn’t want him to leave, and they kiss a few times.
 A young woman calls out for a man as she passes him in a carriage; she stops the carriage, runs to him and they hug. A man and a woman hug while dancing. A man (seemingly inebriated) enters a party with two women (we see them drinking champagne); they sit on a sofa and the man puts his head in the lap of one woman and one foot in the lap of the other. A man and a woman kiss on the cheeks in greeting. A young man touches a young woman’s face and she pushes him away. A woman pulls away abruptly as a young woman tries to kiss her on the cheek.
 A man watches a woman in a theater (unbeknownst to her) and appears to be interested in her. Men and women dance at a few parties and balls and men and women dance in a bar.
 A young woman tells a young man that she cannot love him the way he wants her to and he says that he would rather be dead than be without her. A young man tells a young woman not to marry another man and it is implied that he wants to marry her. A man asks a woman to marry him and she declines (we do not see the refusal). A young woman asks a young man if he likes the way she looks and he tells her, “No. I don’t like fuss and feathers.” A young woman tells a man that she can’t believe that another woman (her sister) turned him down. A man tells a woman, “Morals don’t sell” when she talks about a story that she has written and he tells her to make the next one, “short and spicy.” A woman tells a young woman that she could make money by acting in the theater or run a “cathouse.” A woman makes several comments about young women marrying rich to make sure that their family is taken care of. A young woman says, “Boys scare me.” Three young women complain about adding a young man to their group. Two young women call out as another young woman is driven away in a carriage, “Don’t let her fall in love.” A young man asks a young woman, “You wouldn’t actually marry one of these men would you?”
 Women wear dresses that reveal cleavage and are tight-fitting around the waist. A man unbuttons the back of a young woman’s smock and seems to be interested in her.


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Little Women VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 – A young woman skates to the center of a frozen pond and breaks through the ice; she screams and another young woman and a young man help her out using a branch (we see her in bed later, recovering). A young woman sprains her ankle while dancing and another woman and a man help her to get home where someone puts ice on her ankle. A young woman burns another woman’s pages of writing and when the second woman realizes what she has done, she tackles her to the floor and hits her until they are separated by others. A young woman yells at another young woman, throws a shoe at her and threatens that she will regret not letting her go to the theater with her.
 A young woman is shown sick with a fever (her cheeks are reddened and she has seizures a couple of times but she recovers). A young man and a young woman bicker in several scenes and she hits him in the arm or shoves him in a few scenes. Girls tease another girl in a classroom and convince her to draw a picture of their teacher; when she does, the teacher apparently hits her on the hand (we see her with a bloody hand later) and she later says, “I wish that he would die.” A woman curls another woman’s hair and burns off a hank of her hair (we see the hair and a bit of smoke); the second woman screams and cries (we see her with no evidence of missing hair later).
 A young woman throws a pillow at another young woman; they wrestle on the floor (seemingly playfully). A man and a woman argue and the man yells out another man’s name as he flings his glass of champagne, spilling it on a dance floor. A woman’s skirt catches fire when she stands too close to a fireplace (someone else puts it out and she is not harmed). A young woman puts her foot into a bucket filled with plaster and it gets stuck as the plaster dries; she clomps around with the bucket on her foot and yells.
 A young woman sells her hair to get money for her mother to take a train to be with her father in the hospital. A man and a woman dance and the woman bumps into the man and knocks him down (he is not harmed). A woman burns the pages of her writings in a fireplace. Children play swordfight in a schoolyard.
 As a family of four young women, their mother and a caregiver sit down for a meal, the mother asks her daughters if they would give up their food to a poor family with five young children that have no food; they agree and we see them take the food to the family (we hear that an infant is ill) and the mother says that they all sleep in the same bed to keep from freezing. Several people stand at a graveside and grieve.
 A young woman tells her sister, “I wanted to hurt you,” and the other young woman says that she will never forgive her and that she will hate her forever. A man reads a woman’s writing and says that it is not good; she becomes upset and they argue ending with her telling him to never speak to her again. We understand that a man has left his family to fight during wartime and that the family members are struggling for money. A woman receives a message telling her to come home because her sister is very sick. A woman talks about having to work all the time to take care of her family (her sisters and mother). A man tells a woman, “Morals don’t sell” when she talks about a story that she has written. A man tells a woman that her heroine should be either married or dead by the end of the next story she writes. We hear a woman’s voice in the background of a scene asking for the rent “on time.” A woman talks about being disappointed with being a girl. Young women talk about being poor and dreaming of not being poor in several scenes. A woman makes a reference to a man being unsuitable because he gambles and drinks. We hear that a man’s daughter died and that he disowned his son. A man says that two of his sons died in a war, one son is a prisoner and the fourth son was injured and is in the hospital. We hear that an infant died from scarlet fever. We hear that a young woman’s heart is weakened by scarlet fever. A young woman says that if her sister had died, it would have been her fault. A young woman asks, “What is wrong with me?” A young woman complains of not being talented and that she wants to be, “Great or nothing.” A woman tells another woman that she is ashamed of her country. A young woman says, “I ruined everything with my temper.” A man says that California is, “Less particular about immigrants.” A young woman says, “I could eat a horse.”
 A toddler cries and we see his nose running (mucus is seen on his lip).


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Little Women LANGUAGE 1

 – Name-calling (sinners, decadents, selfish, Saint Amy, high priest, blowhard, pompous, dreadful, stiff, foolish, sneaks, mean, wicked, rudest, silly, failure, savage, Christopher Columbus, idiot, ungrateful minxes, baby, bored, little life, horrid, spinster, commonplace dauber, ornament to society, indolence, natural depravity, waste of time, disappointment), exclamations (ow, oh dear), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. God’s Will, God, Thank God). | profanity glossary |


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Little Women SUBSTANCE USE

 – People are gathered at a bar and drink from mugs, a reference is made to a man’s drinking in a couple of scenes, and people drink champagne at several parties (one man appears drunk). A man smokes a cigar in an office, and three young women hold pipes in their mouths (they do not smoke them).


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Little Women DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – The Civil War, family, making money, gender roles, women making their way without men, mischief, debt, trust, disappointment, death of loved ones, vanity, wealth, love, options for women, marriage, copyright, success, domestic struggles, jealousy, sibling rivalry, privilege, dreams, scarlet fever, giving up, ambition, sacrifice, heartbreak, debutantes, patience.

Little Women MESSAGE

 – No one makes their own way.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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