Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, & Jason Statham
Let me say this: I’m not a fan of Romeo & Juliet. Not. At. All. I’ve read the play and watched the original 60s film and the Leonardo DiCaprio version (which is weeeeiiiirrrd). I’m the world’s most hopeless, pathetic romantic, but Romeo & Juliet just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t believe in love at first sight. Lust, yes, but not love.
Anyways, all that aside, I really did enjoy this movie. Gnomeo and Juliet are not the sappy, naïve teenagers in Shakespeare’s work: they’re witty, mature, and have legit chemistry based on a love of adventure (as opposed to the play when it’s just mutual attraction). The film stays fairly true to the play, but without a lot of the depressing tragedy and the intelligible dialogue. Though the original Shakespearean English is not used, some of the original dialogue remains that’s been translated into modern English—I quite enjoyed the tower scene this time around.
This movie has a very star-studded cast. Not only do you have James McAvoy and Emily Blunt, but you get Michael Caine as Juliet’s father and Maggie Smith as Gnomeo’s mother. Rock legend Ozzy Osbourne plays a deer, Julie Walters is the owner of the blue yard, Dolly Parton is a gnome, Hulk Hogan is a voice in a lawnmower ad, and Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) plays none other than Bill Shakespeare himself. And I never thought I’d live to see the day that Jason Statham acts in a kid’s movie. Life made! He makes a great villain as Tybalt, though I would have loved to see some of the kung fu Statham is famous for.
I really do like this movie. The animation is great and the soundtrack is awesome (Elton John for the win!). Plus, it made me, probably the biggest hater of Romeo & Juliet ever, enjoy one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays.
So, if you’re a kid at heart, or enjoy a simple love story, I’d definitely recommend it.