Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Review: Charming, Romantic & Hilarious

This is a film that everyone should see. Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing is the best and most charming romantic comedy we will see all year. The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the director of The Avengers adds his unique touch to Shakespeare’s love story. Who couldn’t love a tale where the actors of Angel, Firefly, Buffy, The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers all come together and start falling in love? Sign me up for Whedon’s next Shakespearean take!

Whedon shot the film in just 12 days in his gorgeous Santa Monica home, between shooting and editing The Avengers. The low-budget, black and white modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s story (though Shakespeare’s original language is used) includes several of Whedon’s friends and longtime collaborators. It’s pretty much a dream come true for any hardcore Whedon fan.

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In this version of Much Ado, this Beatrice (Amy Acker) and this Benedict (Alexis Denisof) are hilarious, bantering back and forth like a married couple and clearly have feelings for each other before anything is revealed. Acker and Denisof’s chemistry is impeccable and hard to resist. The two are just so darn cute together! The Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Hero (Jillian Morgese) plot is skillfully created and the two actors have a lovely elementary school crush relationship. However, the duo that steals several scenes in Much Ado are the goofy policemen Dogberry (Nathan Fillion) and Verges (Tom Lenk).

When you sit down and watch the film (which will hopefully be sooner rather than later!), pay attention to the scenes where Beatrice and Benedict overhear that the other has feelings for them. Acker and Denisof are completely charming and their theatricality in these scenes is fun and silly. It’s quite possible Much Ado contains the most joyous scenes in film all year. Really, those scenes are worth the entire price of admission.

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Whedon’s modern day adaptation is charming and quite hilarious, thanks to his unique direction and terrific performances, especially those of Acker and Denisof.

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