5 Things To Do Before Seeing ‘Romeo And Juliet’

by Jessica Marshall

It has been almost 20 years since our fave star-crossed lovers whispered sweet nothings to each other in iambic pentameter on the silver screen.

But this week, Juliet (a.k.a. Hailee Steinfeld) and her Romeo (Douglas Booth) are hitting the big screen, bringing Shakespeare’s classic tragedy to life in a new adaptation from Italian filmmaker Carlo Carlei.

You already know how the story goes. But here are five things you should do before seeing what light through yonder new version breaks.

Read the play
Even if you’ve already read it multiple times, it’s always worth another read. There’s a reason this play is performed year after year and has served as the inspiration for countless other works of fiction and entertainment. This classic piece of literature by William Shakespeare is pretty much a prerequisite for everything in life.

Watch the movie/s
According to director Carlo Carlei, his new adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” pays homage to the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version, from costume design to the cobblestoned streets of fair Verona. The 1996 Baz Luhrmann version, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes is a more colorful, modern take set in California. Despite the fact that it’s the same exact story and much of the same dialogue, the two previous adaptations couldn’t be more different—which will prime you nicely for the newest version.

Attend a masked ball
One of the most iconic scenes in both the play and the movie is the opening Capulet ball that Romeo sneaks into, at the risk of starting an all-out war between the families. The new film is heavy on the period costuming, so the more authentic you can get, the better. Use a feathered mask to woo your own Romeo in the process…but you can both take your masks off in front of everyone, because your family will probably be cooler with him than the Capulets were with Romeo.

Bejewel yourself with Swarovski
The crystal jewelry maker not only blinged out the costumes in this film, it actually produced the movie. Swarovski started a production company, and “Romeo and Juliet” is its first feature. If it’s a success, we can look forward to many more sparkly films in the future!

Visit fair Verona
If you venture to the Italian town that is the setting of the play, you will find yourself transported into a Shakespearean wonderland. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but you can go visit Juliet’s balcony and re-enact the famous moon-drenched love scene (and you won’t be the only one, we guarantee).

Will you be seeing “Romeo and Juliet” this weekend?