Review Date: May 25, 2000
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Kenneth Branagh
Producers: Kenneth Branagh and David Barron
Allessandro Nivola as the King
Alicia Silverstone as the Princesss
Kenneth Branagh as Berowne
And yet the "feel" of this movie, the "look" of the entire piece, the songs, the black and white updated news footage from the time, the many groovy choreographed dance sequences, all seemed to resonate a flawless homage to the classics, and just won me over, dammit! It's funny because I honestly do not prefer the word of the Bard to the words of Tarantino, since for one, I do not understand most of what Shakespeare is saying (mark me an ignoramus, but at least I'm honest), and two, I'm a child of the 80s...sniff, sniff. Pity me. Seriously though, my only reservations with this film actually lay within those areas. Granted, I did love the dances, the songs, the costumes, the settings, but you know the thin story line actually had to be driven along by at least some dialogue, and when the dialogue came, well...I just tuned out. Half of what was being said struck a foreign chord with me, so getting the gist of their conversations was the best that I could do. I also couldn't help but notice the Alicia Silverstone factor, which just seemed out of place, to be sure. Not that she was necessarily bad in her role, but somehow, she just didn't seem to belong there. But no biggie.
In the end, we accept the fact that these types of films aren't exactly character studies or created solely on the merit of their story lines. They are generally based on the spirit of their convictions, the zip of their songs and the zap of their dances, and by golly, this movie struck gold on all those counts. Color me impressed, cause God knows I would be the first to tell you to keep me far and away from any musicals this side of the SOUTH PARK (9/10) movie, but listen to I, when I tell thee this...romance, show tunes, dance, enchantment, moonlight and even a little humor never hurt anybody. Drop your cynicism off at the door and enjoy.