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Shakespeare In Love
BLU-RAY disk
Mar 6, 2012 By: J.A. Hamilton
Shakespeare In Love order
Director:
John Madden

Actors:
Joseph Fiennes
Gwyneth Paltrow
Ben Affleck

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young William Shakespeare finds himself struggling with writer's block until he meets a free spirited woman promised to another man. As the two unknowingly begin working together on stage, a chance discovery blossoms into a love affair which fuels Shakespeare's creative fire.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
And with the release of ANONYMOUS comes the obvious marketing campaign of re-releasing SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and talk about two totally different films. The tone of this one is light, comical and goes along with the idea that Shakespeare is who we believed him to be, the only catch being he's got a bad case of writer's block and is in desperate need of a muse. When I originally watched this flick it was due to a sheer lack of options at the video store, but thankfully (and much to my surprise) there's a lot of fun to be had here and twice as many laughs.

Joseph Fiennes plays a Shakespeare you can't help but enjoy, his love of life (and women) is only matched by his illustrious ambitions. Gwyneth Paltrow's character soon becomes the object of young Shakespeare's desires after posing as a man to join the rank of thespians on stage. I always found it odd that no one but him saw through this disguise, I know Gwyneth isn't rocking the hugest amount cleavage in the world (which just so happens to be on display here), but damn fellas, you can't tell a chick when you see one? I'm not a Paltrow fan but she's sweet here, and the chemistry between her and Fiennes is genuine, a fact that carries the film on romantic wings. As much as I enjoyed the Queen's feisty side in ANONYMOUS, the always fabulous Judi Dench leaves her mark as well (when she says, "she's been plucked since I saw her last, and not by you," I still can't help but grin).

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is no history lesson, nor is it a sneaky conspiracy theory ridden mystery, it's a easy going, fun take on what romantics wish was the case. What truly sells this flick for me is the dialogue and countless memorable quotes. Ben Affleck's character is hilarious and steals the show with nearly every line that comes out of his mouth, but my favourite scene is when Shakespeare and Marlowe are talking about stories and titles. Shakespeare's begins telling him of Romeo and Juliet, which at the time he calls Romeo and Ethel the Pirates Daughter, something that to this day has me nearly in tears every time I hear it. As funny as it is though, I have to say that Marlowe's advice about changing the title was indeed sound.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: There are two commentaries here; one with director John Madden which isn't bad as the guy has a distinct love for Shakespeare and the idea that he's a hopeless romantic. The second one comes from the cast and crew, these are always my favourite as we get to hear more about what the individual actors personally brought to the roles.

Shakespeare in Love and in Film: This is simply another look at the how's and why's this portrait of Shakespeare's life came to be. I'm not a Shakespeare fan personally but I did enjoy this flick a lot.

Academy Award Winning Costumes: Of the seven academy awards this flick took home, a win for sets and wardrobe was among them. This quick look explores how they vividly captured the Elizabethan era.

Deleted Scenes: There's only one scene which is both unnecessary and depressing, I can see why they cut it.

Previews: There's a theatrical trailer for the feature, some TV spots as well as some previews that play before the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you have yet to see this film and enjoy a good laugh with a touch of romance, I recommend picking this one up on Blu-ray. That said, there's not much of change in extras between this and the DVD so if you have it already there's definitely no need to double dip.
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