So my wife says, “You gotta see Love’s Labour’s Lost streaming on Netflix.” I say okay, so Pete and I sit down to watch it with her.
It was… a trip. I remember when it came out and it got panned. So I didn’t bother at the time. Now that I’ve seen it, I just don’t understand critics some days.
Kenneth Branagh decided to take a light and fluffy comedy from Shakespeare and make it… a light and fluffy musical comedy. So in between Will’s text:
you get people busting out in Gershwin, Berlin, and Porter tunes and big boffo dance numbers straight out of the heyday of the MGM musical era.
(By the way, can that Adrian Lester dance or what? Also, gotta love the “Hmmm. What do we do with this ‘It kills sheep’? thingie” solution to this textual oddity.)
I dunno. Maybe some people are offended by messing with the purity of The Sacred Text.
Me: I don’t think Shakespeare is Holy Writ and people have been editing and redacting and playing around with him for five centuries, turning Macbeth in a western and setting Midsummer Night’s Dream at a 50s sock hop and making Romeo and Juliet into West Side Story and transmogrifying The Tempest into Forbidden Planet when they aren’t turning Prospero into Prospera. Heck, Da Man even stole from himself and used lines from previous plays in later ones (both Merchant of Venice and Hamlet use the line “Whereto serves mercy but to confront the visage of offence?”). So I was completely charmed by the big splashy numbers, the goofy gee-whiz choreography that made up for lack of polish with “Hey! Let’s do a Show!” heart. They even managed to get in an Esther Williams Bathing Beauties number. With the exception of one pretty steamy dance number you might want to think twice about before letting the kids watch, the show is a treat.
But then, like Cookie Monster, me not know art, but me know what me like. I thoroughly enjoyed LLL. Check it out.