Directed by Joss Whedon/Produced by Joss Whedon & Kai Cole/Music by Joss Whedon/Based on the Play by William Shakespeare/Starring Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, & Jillian Morgese
I find it probable that you have heard the tale of Beatrice and Benedick, sharp of wit and sharper of tongue, ever eager to turn the both against each other. You’ve likely heard of Beatrice’s fair and sweet cousin Hero and her love, the valiant (but too quick to jump to conclusions) Claudio. Mayhap you even know of the clever tricks that were turned against Beatrice and Benedick to soften their hearts and of the cruel tricks that were played against Hero and Claudio’s love. But I daresay you’ve never heard their tale told in quite such a manner as this. . . .
Joss Whedon’s take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing was a treat from start to finish. It sticks largely with the plot–and even the wording–of the original (so yes, Shakespearean English). But he sticks the classic plot in a contemporary setting, somehow bringing the story into the present day (sort of) without verbally alluding to it at all. People are beckoned to listen to music . . . on an MP3 player. The watch manages to lock themselves out of their car. A lot of the story is carried non-verbally, while still somehow remaining true to the spirit and intent of the original. It helps that Whedon collected an amazing cast for this, most (if not all) of the major actors having worked with him before on other shows. (And may I just say, it was refreshing to see Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker get a happy ending for once!) The music chosen also set the mood excellently. And–one of the most refreshingly surprising aspects in my mind–the entire movie was in black and white! I love it!!! I will note that this is a PG-13 movie–and personally I wouldn’t share it with anyone under 16 because of a few bedroom scenes–but for adult viewers, I thing Much Ado About Nothing is an exceptional movie that I recommend highly.