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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