After a long wait that started with the raves coming out of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” finally is opening in limited release, and it is absolutely worth your time.
The only thing to really say about “Much Ado” is that you owe it to your brain and your heart to go see it, but if we have to break it down, these are the five reasons we’d give for checking out the movie.
Your High School Self Was Wrong About Shakespeare
Remember how boring Shakespeare was in high school when the teacher barely had enough patience to get through a play with a group of uninterested teens? That was never the best environment to experience the works of perhaps the greatest writer of all time, and so you owe it to yourself to see the material handled intelligently. Whedon and his cast have such a grasp on the source material that they know that all they have to do is approach it earnestly and get out of its way. Shakespeare is Shakespeare for a reason, and for anyone who has never “got” the Bard, “Much Ado About Nothing” easily shows them just how wrong they were.
It’s A Great Date Movie
You simply will not find a movie this summer that is as clever, funny, and romantic as this black-and-white one that’s based on a centuries-old play. It’s silly and romantic and at times unabashedly sweet. Gentlemen, if you’re not a skilled enough thespian to recite a line or two for your gal, the least you could do is take her to see people who do it well.
Nathan Fillion Does His Best Nathan Fillion
Many of the Whedon regulars that show up in “Much Ado,” in particular Amy Acker and Fran Kranz, navigate the dialogue expertly, but it’s difficult to top Captain Malcolm Reynolds as Dogberry. The performance is an effortless grafting of the Fillion’s on-screen persona onto the buffoon of a policeman, and the result is hilarious and surprisingly perfect for the former “Firefly” actor.
It’s a Joss Whedon Joint
“The Avengers” had no right being as good as it ended up being, and that is largely in thanks to one man, Joss Whedon. Fans of his television series know that he has an undeniable skill for putting interesting characters in a room and crafting scenes that are insanely entertaining. Even though he’s working with someone else’s words here, his direction communicates his sensibilities almost as clearly as if they were spoken aloud.
There’s Nothing Like It At the Theaters
It’s a testament to the strength of the film and the power of Joss that a low-budget black-and-white Shakespeare adaptation is seeing this kind of release. Especially during a season when films blend together like “After Earths” and “Oblivions,” unique pictures are a hot commodity, and with “Much Ado,” you’ll get that and an excellent one to boot.
“Much Ado About Nothing” opens in New York and LA today.