Gnomeo and Juliet Review

By: Emily Kellas
Rating: 6 out of 10

When I first saw the trailer for the animated film Gnomeo and Juliet, my initial thought was that Hollywood must really be desperate for story lines. The film, directed by Kelly Ashbury, and produced by none other than Sir Elton John, is yet another take on the famous William Shakespeare tragedy Romeo and Juliet. This version of the heart wrenching play focuses on the love affair between two ceramic garden gnomes who hail from rival gardens in London, England, fall in love, and eventually bring their feuding backyards together ending (how else?) with a dance party.

With that said, old Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave as his masterpiece becomes so watered down it barely resembles the original. The film had a great idea, it attempted to bring one of the greatest love stories ever to a younger audience. But, what Gnomeo and Juliet has in inspiration, it lacks in execution. If you are over the age of 10, this might be a painful hour and a half. Seeing it in 3D doesn’t help.

The only redeeming qualities for those of us who no longer need to wear pull-ups are the voice contributions from musical superstars Ozzy Osbourne and Dolly Parton. The “prince of darkness” lends his speech-slurring British accent to, believe it or not, a lawn fawn. Dolly voices an equally well-endowed country girl gnome that adults in the audience will certainly pick up on.

Those moments aside, the film was a big disappointment. The humor is unoriginal and expected. The dialogue itself is poor, even the kids in the audience didn’t seem to respond to it, whereas the physical comedy and action gained the biggest laughs. As for sticking to the original underlying story of Romeo and Juliet, the film seems to pick and choose the aspects and characters it wanted to include.

Though one can appreciate that the film is intended for kids, it falls short of the mark when it comes to it being a well-crafted and thought out family film. For those of you who have kids or overly-excited little cousins, skip it in theaters and wait for the DVD so you can pop it in and leave the room. Aside from that, viewers may take some Shakespearian liberties when saying after seeing this film “parting is such sweet… solace.”

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