Shakespeare in Love

I’ve no idea why it’s taken me so long to get round to watching this 1990s rom-com which I believe won several Oscars. But all that matters is I did finally give Shakespeare in Love a spin, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s definitely my kind of thing; jam-packed with humorous characters, illicit sex, witty one-liners and a really clever plot.

The film follows a young Will Shakespeare as he is trying to earn a living from writing plays for two major theatres in his town, and yet he is struggling with writer’s block. He is expected to produce a comedy, Romeo and Ethel – The Pirate’s Daughter and yet he is struggling. The words simply will not flow. Producing the play painfully slowly, characters are cast and rehearse the play whilst awaiting the next installment from Will.

Soon though, the comedy in Will’s play disappears into thin air as he is distracted in real life by the beautiful Viola De Lesseps. Soon his comedy becomes a deep and tragic romance – renamed Romeo and Juliet. A newcomer to acting is playing the role of Romeo, rather well. Little does everyone know that ‘Thomas’ is in fact Viola in disguise. Her passion for acting forces her to dress as a man so that she may be cast in plays, because in that day and age, women were banned from the stage.

After some time, our lovestruck playwright realises that his actor friend Thomas is in fact the beautiful Viola, and she confesses she reciprocates his feelings. They embark on a risky but very romantic affair, and the tale of Romeo and Juliet is interwoven with their own affair. Sadly, they both know it can never be – as Will is married, and Viola is betrothed to the beastly Lord Wessex, played by a stern-faced Colin Firth.

They continue their affair as Will’s words are in full flow and the play is completed. After much ado, the secret couple are forced to act out these scenes together – but little does the audience know how true their stage kisses are. As with Romeo and Juliet, Will and Viola’s romance must end – their circumstances keep them apart, but they are both changed profoundly by the experience.

This was a fantastic film! It was beautifully romantic, but not too soppy, and there was plenty of humour in there too. I think guys would enjoy this film too as it’s not too much of a chick-flick. Literature buffs and fans of Shakespeare would love this, purely to see some of the most famous quotes in the world spoken by the all-star cast.

Overall, despite it’s downcast ending, this is a feel-good film with a great plot and excellent cast, and high re-watch value. Loved it.

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