Much Ado About Nothing Review
Buffy, Dr. Horrible, The Avengers... A modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing might not have seemed the most likely addition to Joss Whedon’s résumé, but one of the reasons his work is so entertaining is that you can never predict what he’s going to do next.
Packed full of equal amounts drama and laughs, Much Ado manages to steer clear of the usual adaptation mistakes and instead is a breath of fresh air compared to some more boring and predictable re-imaginings. Whether you know Shakespeare’s old English rom-com inside out or you’ve only just heard of it, you don’t want to miss this most recent silver screen version.
The impressive cast list includes many Whedon regulars from Firefly’s Nathan Fillion and Angel’s Amy Acker, to Dollhouse’s Reed Diamond and Avengers Assemble’s Clark Gregg. Despite this, you don’t have to be a Whedon fanatic to enjoy this movie (although it would certainly help) because each cast member’s performance is amazingly unique from their past work together.
Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing tells the story of two very different couples who find love after overcoming lots of drama, betrayals and tricks. Although there are a few hiccups along the way this isn’t one of the bard’s darker creations so there’s no need to bring tissues and it’s wisely been kept fairly short so there’s no chance of you getting bored.
Choosing to keep the original language, although severely edited, in a present day setting isn’t a new idea (see Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet) but be warned, if you’re not used to it, you might struggle to catch every sentence. Having said that, it won’t stop you from enjoying the film and if you’re looking delve deeper into the world of Shakespeare without tackling the original plays head on, it’s definitely a great place to start.
Ok, so there are a few seemingly ridiculous plot points. Like the fact that (SPOILER) everyone easily believes that Hero drops dead of a broken heart when Claudio confronts her about her supposed infidelity during their wedding and then miraculously comes back to life when her innocence is proven… *Gasps for breath*
But despite Shakespeare’s plot quirks Much Ado About Nothing, is a brilliant film that will have you in tears laughing as well as gushing at the romantic love scenes. The whole film has a classic, almost elegant feel to it, from the seamless performances and sharp wardrobes to Whedon’s decision to release it in black and white, and all without falling into the trap of pretentiousness.