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The best early-December movie is Little Women

The best early-December movie is Little Women


It’s not quite time for Christmas movies, but I would love to be cozy

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It’s still early December, which means you might not be quite ready to watch a movie that centers squarely on the holidays. There will be plenty of that later: plenty of Tuesday nights watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on one of the four channels you get with rabbit ears; plenty of begrudgingly sitting through Bad Santa 2 at the mall movie theater while your parents finish up a third hour at Williams-Sonoma; plenty of struggling to figure out how a horror movie like The Polar Express wound up being marketed to a child audience. Plenty of that!

For now, we just want something cozy. Something tangentially related to the holidays by merit of winter happening during the film and there being a fireplace involved in many pivotal scenes. Something about family! Something about a young woman who wants to be a writer and she succeeds at it, thank goodness. Something in which you can see the hard lines of Batman’s face soften into a boyish pout because even masked vigilantes used to be sweet, spoiled teens.

This, among many other reasons, is why Little Women (1994) — based on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel about four sisters growing up in Massachusetts during the Civil War — is the perfect movie for easing your way into Christmas Movie Time.

Here are some of the other ones:

  • It’s so tempting to get drunk with a batch of close female friends or your own real-life sisters and loudly mock how irrationally everyone behaves in this film — in particular young Kirsten Dunst’s character Amy, who is basically a sociopath. Fortunately it’s cold outside, so you are not obligated to resist this temptation. Do it. Cozy!
  • Winona Ryder, who was nominated for an Academy Award for this film, wears a really good hat. Seems cozy.
  • The March sisters often wear elaborate costumes and perform plays they write themselves. They also run a newspaper from their attic. It’s all very creative, and makes one want to spend a cozy Sunday doing some crafting.
  • Everyone wears shawls and has a lot of hair, which is a good way to stay warm (and cozy). Unfortunately, one of the titular women dies of a communicable illness at a young age, which I’ll sneak into this otherwise pleasant bullet point in hopes no one notices.
  • Lots of tea kettles in this movie, if I recall correctly.

A very cozy movie, perfect for right now.