"Alicia Silverstone and Matthew Lillard haunt my every living moment."
When I reluctantly tell people that I'm a movie reviewer, they generally reply "Wow! Cool! That means you get to see ALL the movies!", to which I invariably respond "Yeah. Cool. It also means I have to see ALL the movies." When I got the DVD as an assignment, I had no idea what I was in for, but here's a glimpse: Matthew Lillard and Alicia Silverstone singing...often. And dancing...poorly. Oh, and did I mention they're also trying to wrap their pathetically incapable lips around SHAKESPEARE???Here is the actual email I sent back to my editor after watching Love's Labour's Lost:
Aahh! Alicia Silverstone reciting Shakespeare and SInGinG! And DaNNCINNGN ghghh
AHH!! Matthew Lillard!! He's dancing and singing too!!! Nooooo!! He's doing Shakespeare too! fpthh arghhhh! halp me!!!!!
Whew. I'm OK now. Next time you're going to send me a movie in which both Matthew Lillard AND Alicia Silverstone attempt Shakespearean prose while dancing and belting out 74-year old show tunes, please warn me first. Like with a bullet. (Hehe. I really was expecting a straight Shakespearean comedy movie. The first musical number made milk come out my nose...and I wasn't drinking milk.)
In the interest of staying employed, I now offer an all new HBS/EFC review:
Imagine if Matthew Lillard and Alicia Silverstone were playing Romeo and Juliet. Now throw all the music from 1936 in there. Now ask them two hacks to dance a lot.
Having fun yet?
Ken Branagh is a Shakespare freak. This is his fifth adaptation of the "bard". The previous ones were solid, albeit fairly dry, movies. His literal re-telling of Hamlet is truly awesome. His latest? It's easily his worst movie to date.
I could go on and explain the plot points and set design and all, but I simply can't get past Lillard and Silverstone being in the same movie...and it being this one.
Whoever thought Matthew Lillard should do Shakespeare has severe brain lesions.
Whoever thought Alicia Silverstone should sing on camera is on drugs I never knew existed.
Bottom Line: This is a combination straight from the inner bowels of hell. This combo could kill ANY movie, let alone one in which people stop suddenly, look around, and start shrieking about when they're out together dancing cheek to cheek.
There are all sorts of wacky romantic mix-ups in this tale, which tells the sprawling story of four men who decide to give up women for three years...until 3 minutes later when four woman show up. Then it's 90 minutes of confusion and the double entendres that Bill Shakespeare loved so much long before Three's Company would come along and perfect this schtick.
But what would an indecipherable Shakespeare comedy be without ten full-length muscial numbers? I know I enjoy nothing more than a scene that begins with 4 people talking and ends with 4 people fondling each other while singing poorly and hopping about on chairs.
So what have we learned from all this?
Shakespeare is dead.
People use his stories to make movies because they don't cost anything, unlike John Grisham's or the Unabomber's.
Kenneth Branagh likes Shakespeare AND the old-style musicals. Unfortunately for Ken, not everything goes together as well as chocolate and peanut butter.Nathan Lane is in this one too. He likes to sing. You have been warned.