Joss Whedon really has managed to find himself the only love gods. That movie is fantastic. If you like Shakespeare at all, hell if you like Joss Whedon at all, you should go see it.
And it’s definitely a Joss Whedon movie, for all that it doesn’t contain the patented Whedon snarky dialog. (It’s not like Shakespeare needed Whedon’s help with Beatrice and Benedick.) It’s all in the staging and the subtle (or not so subtle) actions of the actors. It’s the brofist, the iPod, Beatrice falling down the stairs with a basket of laundry, the clever take on Sigh No More, Ladies.
I love that this movie doesn’t even pretend Claudio and Hero are more than window dressing for the two lovers we really want to see. And Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof do them justice.
Really, the entire cast was excellent. And hey, we got a genderbent character out of the deal–Conrade is female in this one. Though some day I would love to see a film production where Benedick and Beatrice are both women because reasons.
This isn’t your average Shakespeare movie. For the most part, the actors deliver their lines like they’re just speaking the language normally rather than declaiming something in the Globe. And it really works. I’m well versed in watching Shakespeare now, but this was more easily comprehensible than any other movie I’ve encountered. (So I definitely recommend it for Bard beginners.)
And a special shout-out to Nathan Fillion. This is the first production of Much Ado About Nothing I have ever seen where I could actually understand what Dogberry was saying. I now understand that the character is fricking hilarious, and it has nothing to do with a comedic and incomprehensible accent and everything to do with the fact that he has no idea what words actually mean. It was wonderful.
Oh yes. And Clark Gregg because… Clark Gregg. Saying, “This naughty man,” and shaking his finger at Borachio.
I must own a copy of this.