Saturday, May 24, 2014

Shakespeare Saturdays: Hollywood Twists

One reason that Shakespeare's plays have remained relevant and important for so long is because people continue to reinterpret and adapt the historic plays. While many adaptations line the streets of Broadway or make their way to small town theaters, Hollywood plays a large part in remaking and modernizing the very best of his plays. Below are some of my favorite adaptations!

10 Things I Hate About You. I know I'm not alone on this one. This movie, based on The Taming of the Shrew, came out in 1999 and people are still quoting the famous poem at the end and fawning over Heath Ledger's smile. Of course, this movie does not stick to the original script or storyline, but it's a hilarious and updated take on love, trickery, and happy endings. This one makes my list because The Taming of the Shrew is my favorite Shakespearean comedy.

She's The Man. Again, another given. The movie is based on Twelfth Night and is such a good rendition of the play. It sticks to the bare bones of the plot but makes it absolutely hilarious, starring Amanda Bynes before she went cray cray. The comedy of it is truly Shakespearean and his influence is very apparent throughout the hijinks and missteps of the colorful characters.

Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. This is one of my favorite movies and it is especially unique because it takes the exact, word-for-word script of Shakespeare's play and just updates the setting. I think I like the use of the original script so much because it shows that understanding the language is attainable. And, because it's a Baz Luhrmann film, everything is over the top and dramatized and that's always fun to watch.

Love's Labor's Lost. I love this play, even though it is not one of his most popular, because it is all in rhyme which makes it perfect to adapt into a musical. Kenneth Branagh did just that—also, everyone should watch Branagh in some form of a Shakespeare remake, he's in or has created a ton of them. Alicia Silverstone stars in this adaptation and I found the watching the movie made reading the play more fun and entertaining. The dance and singing scenes are occasionally cringeworthy but there's plenty of humor in it, as well!

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