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A version of the "Little House" stories that cover some of the events that take place in the last three books of the series and the book "The First Four Years" Laura is living on the prairie nere De Smet, South Dakota and eventually meets the man that she will marry, Almanzo Wilder. Life, however, is not easy on the prairie and after a crop lost to hail, the loss of their baby son, the burning down of their house, and a terrible bout of diptheria, the Wilders must make some hard choices about how to move on from the tragedies. Written by
This could have been an AMAZING movie, using the real life of Laura to show that sometimes, even when you are a good, hard-working human being, life can still get you down. I've done a lot of research on Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder and I know their life was FAR from easy. So I was very excited to hear that this movie was coming out.
And then I watched it.
I can't even describe how mad I was. Right off the bat -- Laura did not have BLONDE HAIR. MARY had blonde hair and Laura had brown hair and that was part of Laura's characterization--from the childhood fights with Mary over who had the prettier hair to the ribbons they were allowed to wear on their braids to Laura gradually accepting that her hair was pretty in its own way. It's the pattern of many typical teen-aged girls, which helped readers relate to her. It's a huge part of who she is. If this were not a revered historical figure, obviously hair color would not matter. Couldn't they have at least dyed it? Geeze Louise!
The acting was also pretty sub-par. I don't think Meredith Monroe was right for the part at all. When Laura was a child she was a bit mischievous and tomboyish, but as she grew up she matured and settled down. Monroe couldn't effectively capture that -- the spirit of a tomboy with a naughty streak encased in a (relatively) proper young lady. Laura was not a wild woman by any account, and though she usually spoke her mind, she didn't really defy social conventions of the time period in drastic ways. Monroe was too contemporary, for a movie that claimed to be historically accurate. She may be a good actress in other respects, but not in this movie.
It was done sloppily all around. The way the Bouchies treated Laura, her courtship with Almanzo who was 10 years her senior, her feelings about teaching, the birth of her daughter and the loss of her son were all excellent chances to showcase that Laura's life at times could be pretty extraordinary.
I gave it 2 stars because I liked the way they didn't skirt around Laura and Almanzo's relationship--I was always curious as to how their dynamic was, and the romance in the books was downplayed for children's sake. But the actors were just wrong, so the effect was not good.
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