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Love's Labour's Lost (2000)

Cast: Alessandro Nivola, Alessandro Nivola, Alicia Silverstone, more...
Director: Kenneth Branagh, Kenneth Branagh
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Miramax
Genre: Foreign, Romantic Comedy, Shakespeare, UK, Musicals
Running Time: 94 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Actor/director Kenneth Branagh sets his screen version of Shakespeare's play in the 1930s, adding such classic songs as "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "The Way You Look Tonight," and "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and staging it in the manner of a Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical. The King of Navarre (Allesandro Nivola) and three of his noblemen (Branagh, Matthew Lillard, and Adrien Lester) have decided that they're wasting their time chasing women. They swear a solemn oath to spend the next three years avoiding the pitfalls of romance and improving their minds. No sooner have they made this agreement than they meet a French princess (Alicia Silverstone) and her three handmaidens (Natascha McElhone, Carmen Ejogo, and Emily Mortimer). The pledge is forgotten and the chase is on. Love's Labour's Lost also features Nathan Lane, Timothy Spall, and Paul Whitehouse. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Very good, but overly stylized/artistic by MBreslau February 18, 2011 - 9:29 AM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
William Shakespeare and Cole Porter seamlessly blended? Unlikely, but it works.

It took me a few minutes to figure out what I was watching - vintage newsreels from a non-existent 1939's history timeline? Impeccable stage (not movie) acting and oration? Whatever it was, it was very skillfully done with a talented crew, but sometimes pretentious for art's sake.

Enjoy, but be prepared...

Great antidote for anime by IronS September 25, 2003 - 4:21 PM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
I admit it; this is one of my queue orphans. Imagine my surprise when it was sent to me before the other 10++ anime titles that were higher on my queue. However, once I started watching, I found myself singing along and quite enjoying the movie. Visions of college film classes filled my mind (in a good way). So many anime titles I encounter seem to have the miasma of the end-of-the-world blues, but Love's Labour's Lost is just frothy fun. The guys (the king, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine) come across a whole lot nicer than in Shakespeare's version. Granted, a lot of Shakespeare's words are lost, but the replacement, singing and dancing, is a pretty good trade. Kenneth Branagh (Berowne) and Natascha McElhone (Rosaline) do most of the singing, thankfully. Adrian Lester (Dumaine) has a great dance solo. The songs are great, of course (although Alicia Silverstone and Matthew Lillard really can't sing), and the dancing was fun to watch as well (even without the drill team precision of a Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly number). There's even an Esther Williams-eque scene with the ladies. I'm quite impressed with Kenneth Branagh for even attempting this (a Shakespearean play about words made into a musical?!) let alone carrying it off so well even if he did add a happy ending.

Heaven (sway, sway) I'm in heaven (step, kick)...

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.50)
32 Votes
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Shakespeare on DVD at GreenCine, annotated
It's hard to search for Shakespeare plays, so this list as of 12/07 may help. Alphabetized by main word in title; renamed adaptations such as Throne of Blood are mentioned but not listed. To see GC's own list, click any 'Shakespeare'-as-genre link.
LOVE, etc.
Some of my favorite romantic comedies

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