This new version of Shakespeare's romantic farce looks like it was shot on video in the filmmaker's house with his friends over the course of about two weeks, which is exactly the case. It's lively and funny, and occasionally also warm and emotional, but the uneven tone never quite comes together to bring out the passion in the characters. An enjoyable experiment, the film keeps us entertained but refuses to spring to life.
Set in present-day suburbia, the story opens as Don Pedro (Diamond) and his henchmen Benedick and Claudio (Denisof and Kranz) deliver rival gang leader Don John (Maher) to his mob boss brother Leonato (Gregg). A confirmed bachelor, Benedick continues his verbal sparring with Leonato's feisty love-rejecting daughter Beatrice (Acker), while Claudio seeks help in wooing her sweet cousin Hero (Morgese). But Leonato decides to have some fun here, tricking Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love with each other. Meanwhile, the imprisoned Don John is plotting to destroy his brother, while a bumbling detective (Fillion) tries to figure out what's up.
Filmmaker Whedon assembles his cast from actors he worked with in everything from Buffy to The Avengers, creating a loose, relaxed atmosphere that makes the film easy to watch, even though it's in black and white and is spoken in Shakespearean dialect. On the other hand, this kind of mutes the play's romantic highs and tragic lows, evening everything out into a gentle comedy of manners with slapstick touches. Part of the problem is that, if you're unfamiliar with these actors, it's not easy to tell them apart as they are dressed in identical black suits. But the cast is excellent, delivering the dialog with off-handed precision.
Continue reading: Much Ado About Nothing Review
Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing appears to be a success with critics, but can it be a hit with audiences too?
Joss Whedon proves he is more than just the guy behind The Avengers with Much Ado About Nothing, a 2012 independent romantic comedy film based on the William Shakespeare play of the same name. The movie stars Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Nathan Fillion and premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. It has gained stunning reviews ahead of its North American theatrical release this week.
Generally considered to be Shakespeare's finest comedy, the story follows two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero. The former couple are witty and often proclaim their disdain for love, while the latter are young, perhaps naïve and infatuated with one another. Critics fell in love with the Whedon's reimagining of the play, "Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing is both a palate cleanser for the director and a small but savory treat for Shakespeare-starved audiences," said Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times. Lou Lumenick of the New York Post agreed, writing, "Joss Whedon's fresh and cheeky adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing is a minor miracle - the first filmed Shakespeare comedy in decades that's actually funny." The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the funniest Shakespeare films in ages," while Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com said, "It definitely possesses that Whedon-esque nerdy energy, fizzing with humor, eroticism, booze and more than a hint of danger."
Shot in just 12 days, primarily at Joss Whedon's own residence in Santa Monica, California, the black-and-white movie hits selected theaters in the U.S. on Friday (June 7, 2013).
Continue reading: Joss Whedon Reinvents Shakespeare With Stunning 'Much Ado About Nothing'
When Don Pedro arrives in Messina with his officers Benedick and Claudio, they meet with the Messina Governor Leonato and Claudio subsequently falls head over heels for his daughter Hero but is too shy to court her. Benedick makes it clear that he will never be married, sharing a similar feeling with Leonato's niece Beatrice with whom he strikes up a fiery relationship. While Don Pedro goes about tricking Claudio into wooing Hero and getting Benedick and Beatrice to confess their love for one another, his bitter brother Don John goes about trying to break up the peace in the group with his own callous plotting. Will a string of nasty lies destroy all harmony in the beautifully blossoming courtships, or will love be strong enough to hold it all together?
Continue: Much Ado About Nothing Trailer
Five teenagers - Holden; Curt; Marty; Jules and Dana - decide to go on a weekend trip to let off some steam. Not surprisingly, their location of choice is a cabin in the woods. So remote is this cabin that it doesn't show up on the teens' GPS.
Continue: The Cabin In The Woods Trailer
This new version of Shakespeare's romantic farce looks like it was shot on video in...
When Don Pedro arrives in Messina with his officers Benedick and Claudio, they meet with...
Five teenagers - Holden; Curt; Marty; Jules and Dana - decide to go on a...