Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Romantic comedy

The surviving works of William Shakespeare (April 1564 – April 1616) - widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language - consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets and two long narrative poems. Six years after his death the first published collection of his plays grouped them into three categories: comedies, histories and tragedies of which Romeo and Juliet is one of the best known. The story of two young lovers takes place in Verona, Italy and culminates with the famous “balcony scene” when Romeo standing in the courtyard overhears Juliet on her balcony vowing her love to him in spite of her family's hatred of him and his family.

In Verona, the Casa di Giulietta, or Juliet’s House, claims to be the residence of the Capulet family in Shakespeare’s play where the tragic heroine Juliet cried out to her Romeo. It has become one of the most visited tourist sites in town. Many people leave love letters and some seek advice on notes left on the wall near the entrance. Since 1937 a group of volunteers known as Juliet’s secretaries have answered as many as 7,000 letters a year.

Amanda Seyfried: Sophie Hall, fact-checker for The New Yorker magazine
Gael Garcia Bernal: her fiancé Victor, an aspiring chef
Vanessa Redgrave: 60-something-year-old Claire Smith-Wyman
Christopher Egan: her grandson Charlie Wyman
Franco Nero: Lorenzo Bartolini, owner of a vineyard

One of the most difficult types of films to pull off successfully, romantic comedies often lack real chemistry between the two protagonists and rely too often on juvenile slapstick to garner laughs.

Well this one is unlike most of them: it is a love story that evolves on screen between people we get to care about. The fact this takes place in Tuscany, arguably one of the most romantic places on earth, the lush cinematography more than does it justice as some of the shots are nothing short of stunning.

The comedy is of the subtle sort provoking smiles rather than “laugh-out-loud” responses. The acting is uniformly top notch as are the production values. And it does not overstay its welcome with a run time of only 90 minutes.

for brief rude behavior and sensual images, some language and incidental smoking.

One movie goer was heard to say upon leaving "that deserves a 6 star rating!" Trouble is, the best I can do is 5 stars.

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