Head to Head – Shakespeare in Love

Welcome to the third installment of Head to Head, a new feature in which our Quickflix critics enter into a relentlessly bloody battle to the death based on the merits of a particular film. This week, our critics get their quills out over the beloved/reviled Oscar winner Shakespeare in Love.

Simon Miraudo will argue FOR the film and DVDman will argue AGAINST it. Let us know in the comments who you agree with. Let the bloodshed begin!

Simon Miraudo – 4/5

When it comes to romantic comedies, you don’t go past Shakespeare. Man, big Willy defined that genre waaay before Ephron and Curtis got their paws on it. Therefore it’s apt that one of the wittiest, darkest and sexiest romantic comedies of the past few decades be about the Bard himself! Forget that it won Best Picture, and forget Gwynnie’s tearful Oscar speech. Shakespeare in Love features the pitch-perfect comic timing of Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Tom Wilkinson and Dame Judi Dench. DVDman might not be able to recognize the beauty of romance that isn’t drenched in violence, but the rest of us can. Right guys?

DVDman – 2/5

I was a long-time fan of Shakespeare, until I saw this movie. The film that got Gwyneth to bare her backside has very little else to claim as a highlight, despite the stellar cast and swag of Oscars, and even Gwynnie’s arse couldn’t save this limp attempt at quirky romance from the quagmire of sappy, filmic puke. The fact it won so many Oscars is simply testament to what a lean year it must have been in Hollywood, exemplified by the fact they gave one to Dame Judi Dench for a mere 15 minutes of screen time. Anyone with a literary bone in their body should be highly offended by this film, not just for suggesting Romeo and Juliet started out as a pirate story; not just for inferring Will S could fall for some boyish, deviant stalker, but for souring the whole image of Shakespeare, trying to be a kind of Blackadder for the big screen (and thus insulting a truly great TV show), AND FOR WASTING MY TIME. This is suitably soft fare, custom made for lightweight movie watchers who are looking for minimal emotional and intellectual involvement, and should sit alongside anything starring Matthew McConaughey in the collection of “Appalling Big-screen Pap” AKA “Simon M’s Saturday Night Faves”.

Now it’s over to you! Who do you agree with? Do you think like Simon, and believe that Shakespeare in Love is one of the best romantic comedies of the past two decades? Or do you side with DVDman, and think that the film is a blight of Shakespearean proportions? Let us know! Choose your side! There can only be one winner!

Previous Head to Head’s
Crash – Winner: Simon
No Country for Old Men – Winner: DVDman

2 Responses to “Head to Head – Shakespeare in Love”

  1. Ok fellas, you’re both right. It was completely sappy and stupid and totally unrealistic BUUUUTT, let’s all face it: we girlies love Joseph and just WISH the whole thing was true. And I agree that SIL should never have won the Oscar over Elizabeth. Still…you can’t have everything, and given that you can suspend your disbelief, SIL will do you no harm. Good chick flick.

  2. Just one of my favourite films of all time – Mainly because of Tom Stoppard’s wonderful screenplay. Here he did to Romeo and Juliet what he had previously done to Hamlet (Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are dead). So there was the satisfactionn of seeing the on-screen romance of the gorgeous Gwyneth and Joseph Fiennes, and the intellectual satisfaction of the script which took some license with history but really captured the flavour of the 16/17th century

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