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Movie Review: “Romeo and Juliet” is a Timeless Tale that has to stop being Retold

As someone who enjoys romantic films just as much as the next girl, I was surprisingly looking forward to the constantly repeated tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.  I had thought maybe this latest version would at least bring some sort of originality to the classic story…I thought wrong.

Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfield star in Carlo Carlei’s “Romeo and Juliet”

If for some reason you don’t know the story of Romeo and Juliet, or happened to just skip English class that week, let me sum it up for you.  Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet.  The two families are mortal enemies, and must try to avoid each other because otherwise they just want to kill each other, seriously.  When Romeo sets his eyes on Juliet for the first time, it is immediately love at first sight!  No joke; the have already fallen madly in love with each other within the span of five minutes.  Of course this is forbidden love, and their families would never approve their relationship.  Alas, forbidden love develops causing hatred, revenge, and death.

Unfortunately, this tale is very dated.  These days it’s really hard to relate or even believe in a “love at first sight” film.  I get it though, that’s the story and it’s hard to change it up with out upsetting audiences.  But honestly, why do a remake if there is nothing new to bring to the table.  I mean at least, in the Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes version they attempted to set the film in hip modern time.  Not that I thought that was much better.  Shakespeare’s words are not modern.  But, I understand a film maker’s challenge in wanting to try that.  The whole time while watching this 2013 version, I just kept thinking why?  Why is this being redone?  And then Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti) appeared on screen.

Paul Giamatti playing the Friar is the only reason I can imagine this movie was made.  His hilarious portrayal of a character I usually find uninteresting is actually the shiny silver lining to an otherwise forgettable cast.  Not that the acting was bad by any means.  They were all solid performances.  Ed Westwick made for one very angry, heavy breathing Tybalt.  Haliee Stienfield did a decent job as Juliet.  I’m still unsure just how much of her dialogue she actually understood.  She and Douglas Booth were very much how I would imagine Romeo and Juliet would look.  There just wasn’t much chemistry between the two, and from what I recall, DiCaprio and Danes had no problem generating intense passion.  Douglas Booth did, however, prove to be a strong actor.  After his performance in the Miley Cyrus drama, LOL, he needed to redeem himself; and without question this boy knows Shakespeare.  Every line was passionate and believable, you could understand even the most confusing words based on his emotions alone.

Now if you haven’t seen any version of this film or you don’t know the story and how it ends, then Romeo and Juliet could be very entertaining to you.  Otherwise this is just the same script with different actors.  If they do attempt another remake down the road, I’m wishing we get a complete reboot, and maybe a modern script?  Or even a different perspective of the story, in this case I’d love a version told by the Friar.  Tybalt is such an angry character.  Let’s see what his background is?  Does he have a love?  Just throwing out some thoughts!

Romeo and Juliet 2013 HD Official Trailer

Romeo and Juliet opens in theaters October 11th.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com