Thursday, July 4, 2013
Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
Within 15 minutes of the film starting, I already had my hands clasped under my chin in rapture, stars glittering in my eyes. I don't always like modern retellings of Shakespeare's plays, almost never, in fact, which is why I never saw a local production of Romeo & Juliet set in the 40s. Say what? So, I wasn't sure if Whedon would impress me or not. I mean, he filmed this in 12 days. Twelve!? How is that even possible!? Yet, my friends, possible it is, and the results of Whedon's impulsive filming session is the BEST version of Much Ado About Nothing that I have ever seen!
All right, I admit, having Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof play Beatrice and Benedick got my little Buffy and Angel fangirling going. I always did ship Wesley and Fred together, sooooooooo cute! But, more than that, the acting was phenomenal! I'm not the type to praise bad acting, even if I like the actor. I call a spade a spade, but the entire cast of characters was perfect, spot on. I hated to have those stupid credits roll at the end because it meant I had to actually go to work, and couldn't sit down for a 2nd viewing!
Anyone who is, like me, a Whedon and a Shakespeare fan is going to fall head over heels in love with this movie. I mean, Nathan Fillion, THE NATHAN FILLION, was cast as Dogberry for crying out loud, dialogue slip-ups and everything! To say nothing of Firefly's Simon (Sean Maher) sooooo beating Keanu Reeves as Don John. Keanu butchered, literally butchered, that role, and Sean made it his own, flawlessly! And of course, for those fans of the Marvel superhero universe, it was an extra bonus casting Clark Gregg (best known as Coulson from the Marvel franchise) as Leonato, father to the secondary, and sadly wronged, heroine. I mean, I was almost drooling, the casting was so perfect!
And then, oh and then, the glories of the dialogue! Much Ado is not an understated play, oh no. No, no! This play is ripe with hilarity and slapstick humor, just waiting, desperate for someone to do it justice, and someone finally did: JOSS WHEDON! I love you, man! Watching Alexis Denisof diving behind bushes in a desperate attempt to eavesdrop on a conversation he was meant to hear was priceless! Watching Amy Acker trip and literally fly down a set of stairs because she overheard (again, meant to overhear!) her cousin say how Benedick held Beatrice in unrequited love, so PERFECT! The entire audience, once the shock wore off that this was the first genuinely funny movie to hit theaters in at least a decade, laughed so hard we were nearly hysterical! Albeit there were only 20 or so people in this little indie theater, but oh well!
What is wrong with society!? They should request, nay DEMAND, that Much Ado be given a wider release, to the major theaters especially! This is the first movie that really, truly showcases Joss' talent. I wish that he would film more like Much Ado, putting so much of his heart into it, and just having fun, getting together with friends who happen to be actors, and making a movie. 2013 is half over, and Much Ado About Nothing is by FAR my favorite movie so far. The Hobbit may push it down to 2nd place, but they've got their work cut out for them!