As the young Claudio is waiting for his wedding to Hero his good friend attempts to fill the time with a match making scheme to get Beatrice and the man that she most loves to spar with Benedick to finally realize they are meant for each other. However, the unhappy Don John plots to destroy the happiness of both couples. Luckily, the local "law official" played by the brilliant Michael Keaton is watching the comings and goings of the entire town.
The review of this Movie prepared by Rootbeeb
Cynical Beatrice and Benedick have been at each others' throats for years. But their friends suspect that they could fall in love if given half a chance, and try to trick them into falling for each other. Meanwhile, Claudio proposes to Hero, but is tricked into thinking that she is untrue to him.
The review of this Movie prepared by Steph
Young Claudio is smitten with sweet Hero, and with the help of his mentor Don Pedro he proposes. But Don Pedro's glowering brother Don John schemes to break up the match by staging what appears to be a night visit to Hero's bed by a strange man, witnessed by the others. Meanwhile, sharp and cynical Benedick says there's no point in marriage because the perfect woman doesn't exist; independent, bicycle-riding suffragette-type Beatrice feels just as uninterested in a long-time hook-up with a man. So their friends plot to get the two together. When Claudio rejects Hero at the altar and demands that Benedick defend Hero's honor by challenging Claudio (it is given out that the shock of rejection killed the girl), Benedick finds himself caught between his best friend and the woman he's falling in love with (or being made to love!). This was a video recording of the Joseph Papp stage production, directed by A.J. Antoon. It sets Shakespeare's Sicilian play in turn-of-the-century U.S., with the men as Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders returning from the Spanish-American war. It's far enough into historical memory that all the "thees" and "thous" don't sound at all out of place. Shakespeare's song lyrics are delightfully set to ragtime, sets and costumes are wonderfully period and elaborate, and there are several unforgettable scenes. (I particularly love the one where Beatrice hides among the plants in a solarium to overhear Hero and her maid praising Benedick and his supposed passion for her, then they turn on the sprinkler system and she has to remain hidden and get soaked; and the one where the two principals finally meet and kiss while a wind-up record player grinds to a halt.) Barnard Hughes and the police are done up as the Keystone Kops to provide some slapstick along with Shakespeare's malapropisms. For me, the perfect Benedick will always be Waterston's.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus