Shakespeare November: Love’s Labour’s Lost

A Shakespeare Musical.  I kid you not.  When my friend Manda Barker recommend this movie for me to review, I rolled my eyes and wondered “What I have done to deserve this?”  Remembering when this movie came out, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” was trashed by the critics and proved to be the end of the Shakespeare film craze that was started with Branagh’s “Henry V” and reached its apex with “Shakespeare In Love”.   With this in mind, I fully expected to hate “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, but instead I have to admit: this movie is immensely charming and provides a fun take on Shakespeare.

The story concerns itself with the Duke of Navarre and his three friends (Alessandro Nivola as the Duke, Kenneth Branagh, Matthew Lillard, and Adrian Lester as the friends) who have sworn to rid themselves of love and to commit themselves to study, however they are interrupted by the arrival of the Princess of France and her ladies-in-waiting (Alicia Silverstone, Natasha McElhone, Emily Mortimer, and Carmen Ejogo).  This creates a series of complications that end with everyone falling in love together.

Set in the 1930s and drawing on old Hollywood Musicals and Screwball Comedies, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is an inventive and fun movie that does not take itself or its source material too seriously.  The text of Shakespeare blends seamlessly into the Great American Songbook, which creates a very charming, and interesting effect:

The main problem with the movie is Silverstone.  She always says her lines as though she is reading them and she really cannot sing.  But if you ignore her, you will find a fun movie that is an interesting adaptation of Shakespeare and one that is sure to put a smile on your face (unless you hate musicals, definitely do not see this if you hate musicals).

And on that note, thank you all for tuning into Shakespeare November!  Since it is the end of November, It won’t return again until next year.  Anyway, stay tuned for December where I will review British TV and Movies that have to do with Christmas!

Fun Fact: This movie killed Alicia Silverstone’s career along with “Batman and Robin” and “Excess Baggage”.

Fun Fact: Presented by Martin Scorsese and Stanley Donen

Final Rating: 3 out of 4 stars


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