When it comes to remaking classics, I'm not a fan. When it comes to making exaggerated changes to well known stories, I'm not a fan. However, there is always an exception.
My expectations for Gnomeo & Juliet were low and mostly filled with disdain for whomever decided to make R&J a comedy. I have seen the error of my ways.
The movie opens up with a gnome messenger telling us the ending of the film by saying “This story has been told many times and shall be told again in a different way.” This caused a raised eyebrow from me and I knew what was to come.
What we have are two families (you know their names) and their yard ornaments. It seems to me the ornaments are actually the ones causing all the trouble between the two families, as the feud has unknown origins but the fighting seems to be between just the yards.
Throughout the movie, we see little quotes from Shakespeare cleverly hidden. One family lives in “2B” and the other has a “Nonsmoking” circle covering their “2B”. Subtle, wouldn't you agree?
The dialogue carefully translates the legendary Shakesperean language into modern day lingo while still keeping it upbeat. The lines from the play are all throughout it and, for the many Shakespeare fans like myself, it keeps the movie more interesting and entertaining.
My favorite part? The music. Sir Elton John teams up with James Newton Howard to bring us some amazing and catchy tunes that makes us laugh and kept our attention.
The movie is corny at times. There's a pink flamingo that lost his leg and loved one at the same time which easily brings a tear that probably could've been left out. The flamingo goes on and on about love and being alone for twenty years. There's even an appearance by Mr. Shakespeare himself.
The film surpassed my assumptions that Romeo and Juliet could not be redone as a comedy and definitely belongs on your “Must Buy” list.