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Shot much in the spirit of the stage play on which it’s based, Whedon’s (AVENGERS ASSEMBLE) version of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy was filmed in his Santa Monica mansion in just 12 days.
The simplicity of the production is enhanced by the decision to shoot in monochrome and to retain much of Shakespeare’s dialogue, although its more flowery corners have been rounded off by Whedon’s script in deference to modern (and younger) ears. That strategy is further supported by a cast of mainly young TV actors from Whedon’s unofficial repertory company, with Acker and Denisof especially effective as the combative ex-lovers Beatrice and Benedick, who are persuaded by some visiting Italian noblemen to kiss and make up.
A pacey, amusing work that even Shakespeare-phobes will find engaging.