I saw The Prince of Egypt and I was all set to write a provocative,
insightful review on the merits of this film, but then I realized that
most of my comments and wisecracks would have been about the story,
which is the Biblical story of Exodus, and decided that all things being
equal, I wasn't gonna touch that with a ten foot pole.
So I'll review Shakespeare In Love instead.
Truth be told, I do a greater service by reviewing Shakespeare In Love.
It's a smaller film, you may not have heard of it. And it is by far the
Folks, this is a film you should try to see. Basically, anyone who was
forced to read Romeo and Juliet in high school, and every theater major
alive today, should go check out this film. Trust me, you'll thank me
This goes double for anyone currently in the midst of actually writing a
report on this over-studied play. While the film is entirely fictional,
anyone who inserts facts gleaned from the film into their school-work
will undoubtedly reap the benefits.
I know that throngs of you fanatical fans are heavily bummed that I
didn't write this review in Iambic Pentameter. Well I already wrote a
review in that style (the seventeen-hour Hamlet) and I don't like to
repeat myself. Much. Plus it's really hard.
Why is this movie good?
For one thing, you learn that the original title of Romeo and Juliet was
Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. That knowledge alone is worth
the price of admission.
But mainly, you get the treat of watching Shakespeare's life turn into a
Shakespeare play. It's brilliant. The acting is superb. Some guy I've
never seen before is a brilliant Will Shakespeare, Gwyneth Paltrow plays
his love interest, and quite well I might add, and a score of British
actors fill out the cast, doing what British actors do best -
Oh, and Ben Affleck is in it too. But it's OK, he works.
Here's the basic story: Shakespeare is trying to write his greatest
comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter, but he's in a bit of a
rut. He meets well-to-do Gwyneth Paltrow, falls in love, and hilarity
(and other things) ensue.
What, you want more? There's a couple of very funny humping scenes.
And some good swordplay. And a bit with a dog.
You should see this film. If you do, you will feel better than other
people, because a) you saw a film that a lot of other people missed, and
b) you saw a film that had the word Shakespeare in the title and you
understood it. You're a regular Brainiac now.
Shakespeare In Love gets 4 Babylons. As Shakespeare would say, "Yippie
for me!!! I got 4 Babylons!!"
I don't know why the Critic thinks it's hard
To write a line of prose as Shakespeare would
It's not that tough to mimic Ye Old Bard
And if one has the chance, one really should
But what can you expect from one so base
He'd rather see a film with boobs and bombs
That he's a pig, I tell him to his face
He's not a critic, he's a Peeping Tom.
Shakespeare In Love
Directed By: John Madden (not the football guy, I think.)
Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck
and a bunch of other British people.