redbeanbun goes to the movies: much ado about nothing

Point the first (a reminder, really): I love Joss Whedon.

Point the second (also a reminder, and not really that salient a point): I love Nathan Fillion.

Point the third: black and white is an underrated art form that does not get used enough these days.

Point the fourth: slapstick is likewise underrated.

Point the fifth: Joss Whedon and his wife have an incredible house and know how to throw one hell of a party.

I do not really know what to say about this movie except for that it is fantastic. If you are a person who loves Whedon, you will love it. If you are a person who loves Shakespeare, you will love it.

Instead, I will supply you with some samples of opinions from people who have also seen it.

My lovely girlfriend, Abby, made the point that Shakespeare comedies are meant to be sort of farcical and stagy, adding small touches of humor to desperately tragic scenes - something any Whedon fan will recognize as intrinsic to his canon.

My friend E, who accompanied me to The Avengers, loved the fact that it all felt like an inside joke to Whedon fans, because every bit character seemed to be someone from the Buffyverse or other Whedon operations (including Andrew of the Trio alongside Nathan Fillion as the cops).

My roommate Caitlyn, who has accompanied me to many a film (but did not for this one - she got a ticket to a screening where Joss Whedon led a Q&A afterwards, so I hate her forever), noted that she often has a hard time tracking the action when watching Shakespeare that uses the original scripts, since the flow of the English language has changed a lot in the last few hundred years and so it can be confusing to figure out what is being said when the words used may not mean the same thing any more. Thanks in large part, I believe, to the blocking and exaggeratedly physical nature of the scenes, she (and I) had no problem following what was happening.

In a lot of ways, I think this is the way that a Shakespearean comedy should be presented. The histories and tragedies are supposed to be a bit more serious, but back in his day, plays were entertainment for the masses. We have a sort of reverence for the past and give a weight to things that doesn't necessarily represent how they would've been used in the past. Peeling back some of the pretension by adding heaping helpings of physical comedy and sight gags, while still making people who want to feel highbrow feel like they're seeing something arty by having it in black and white is honestly kind of genius.

I may be giving too much credit to JW here - this was, after all, just kind of a thing he did for fun in between other projects - but, whatever. I think he's incredible, and I think this movie was fantastic. It's currently in limited release (NYC, LA, and San Francisco) but hopefully it'll hit a wide (if only art-house) release later this summer. It's fun and bright and I have never heard so many heartfelt laughs from an audience during one movie before.