Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” a Classic Romantic Comedy.

Much Ado About Nothing.

Much Ado About Nothing.

After they’d finished principal photography on Avengers Assemble, its director Joss Whedon was told that he was contractually obliged to take a week off before they could begin editing it. This is what he did with his week off.

Avengers Assemble, which I reviewed earlier here, went on to become the biggest box office success ever. So it’s easy to understand the attraction of something like this for someone as creatively sophisticated as Whedon. Essentially, it’s the exact opposite.

Shot over 12 days with a bunch of friends on location at his house in the Hollywood hills, Much Ado About Nothing is as light and frothy as strawberry frappé. In other words, it’s the sort of thing that so many people get horribly wrong.

Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting.

Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting.

Romantic comedies are just that, romances first, and comedies second. As such, they rise or fall on the chemistry between their leads. And Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof sparkle. Though the film is somewhat stolen from under their noses by the comic pairing of Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk as the magnificently hapless cops. The former pair will be recognized (just about) by fans of Angel, and the latter from the outrageously overlooked Serenity.

Perhaps not quite up there with Smiles Of A Summer Night, or that justly famous episode of Moonlighting, it’s a wonderfully deft adaptation of one of Shakespeare‘s trickier comedies. And it’s only when you think of the many, many dreadful attempts at romantic comedy that you can luxuriate in its casual charm. You can see Much Ado About Nothing’s trailer here.

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  1. This is the second rave review (if I’m allowed call that a rave) I’ve read of this film, and mentioning its bizarre origin (can’t believe he’d just finished the Avengers movie then went straight off and did this, surreal) Dying to see it now. This and the new Richard Linklater Before/After – movie, loved the previous one. Great piece. -A.

  2. I saw Before Sunrise again last week. It’s wonderful.Hasn’t aged a day. Can’t wait to see Midnight. Thanks for the comment! A.


  1. […] But Amer­i­cans do it seems have sec­ond acts after all. As a mat­ter of fact, all of them do. It was just Fitzger­ald who proved to be the excep­tion. And sure enough, Whe­don bounced back com­mer­cially with the spec­tac­u­lar box office smash Avengers Assem­ble. And then, on a com­pletely dif­fer­ent scale, with the much admired Much Ado About Noth­ing – reviewed by me ear­lier here. […]

  2. […] par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable in  Joss Whedon’s crim­i­nally over­looked Seren­ity, see here . That will obvi­ously change now. And Michael Fass­binder con­firms, again, why he is one of […]

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