[Screen It]


(2018) (Sarah Davenport, Melanie Stone) (PG-13)

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Drama: An aspiring novelist draws on her prior experiences with her sisters and others over the years as source material for her latest work.
Jo March (SARAH DAVENPORT) is a 29-year-old woman who lives in Queens with her great Aunt March (BARTA HEINER). Ever since she was a young kid growing up (as played by AIMEE LYNNE JOHNSON) with her sisters -- Meg (CLAIRE COVEY), Beth (REESE OLIVEIRA), and Amy (JANE MILLER) -- and cared for by their mom, Marmee (LEA THOMPSON), while their dad (BART JOHNSON) was overseas as a military medic, Jo has wanted to a be a writer. And not just any writer, but one whose work would live on after her death.

So far, however, she's faced constant rejection but at least one professor, Freddy (IAN BOHEN), has offered to help her through his critiques of her latest drafts, saying she should include her personal experiences in her work. She believes nothing's happened so far in her life, but as we see various flashbacks to her earlier years -- both as a young kid and then as a teen along with Beth (ALLIE JENNINGS), Meg (MELANIE STONE), and preteen Amy (ELISE CLAIRE JONES at that age, and TAYLOR MURPHY as a young adult later) -- the evidence suggests otherwise.

That includes when teenager Laurie (LUCAS GRABEEL) moved into the neighborhood to live with his wealthy grandfather, Mr. Lawrence (MICHAEL FLYNN), following the car accident deaths of his parents, and was tutored by John Brooke (STUART EDGE), thus drawing the attention of the March girls. As the story jumps back and forth through various periods of the sisters' lives, we see how their relationships with each other and those outside the family evolve, all of which ultimately provides source material for Jo's latest work.

OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
More coming soon, but in short, this is a fairly lackluster but sometimes emotionally engaging update of Louisa May Alcott's now 150-year-old work. The contemporary setting of the tale doesn't really add anything to the proceedings, and matters aren't helped by the protagonist's often bratty behavior (especially as an adult) that ends up off-putting and keeps the viewer at a distance.

Reviewed September 24, 2018 / Posted September 28, 2018

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