Friday, February 11, 2011

Gnomeo and Juliet [2011]

MPAA (G) CNS/USCCB (A-I) Nell Minow (3 stars) Fr. Dennis (3 stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB review
ChicagoSunTimes (N. Minow) review

“A gnome by any other name ...”

Gnomeo and Juliet is a fun and surprisingly evocative animated movie released for Valentine’s Day weekend and yes, I’d recommend it to all kinds of people and families looking to see something in the context of this holiday. Following loosely and even amusingly commenting on the story of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it could make for a very cute date movie or one for the family to take small kids.

The story plays out somewhere in English suburbia on the adjacent lawns of a duplex townhouse, the duplex’s addresses “2B” and “Not 2B” on “Verona Street.” One of the duplex’ lawns has a “red” motiff with a beautiful tulip garden. The other garden has a “blue” motiff with a beautiful hydrangea bush as its crowning glory. Amidst the gardens are scattered collections of red and blue gnomes, who like the owners of the two flats, hate each other. How would they know of each others’ existence? Well, while people aren’t looking, the gnomes move around quite a bit and actually take care of their respective gardens. It’s just when people look at them, that’s when they freeze often with very goofy expressions on their faces and in stupid-looking positions.

Much ensues. Gnomeo (voice by James McAvoy) and Juliet (voice by Emily Blunt) actually meet when both of them were outside of their two gardens on separate adventures. On their first date, again away from either of the two’s “familiar gardens,” they meet a sad pink flamingo named Featherstone (voice by Jim Cummings) whose true love was taken away from him when the couple, which owned the garden where he and his true love were displayed, divorced and one of the divorcing spouses took the other flamingo away as part of the divorce settlement. The flamingo teaches the two gnomes a little about love and “tending a garden together.”

A particularly funny scene takes place when Gnomeo finds himself exiled (actually taken away by a slobbering bull dog) and on his way back encounters a statue of William Shakespeare (voice by Patrick Stewart). He tells the statue his story and (the statue of) Shakespeare responds saying “I know the story, let me tell you how it ends.” To which Gnomeo responds “Yuck, what’s with all the death...” Shakespeare answers “You’ll see...”

The rest of the movie is about whether this story has to end like Shakespeare ended it. To be sure, there’s a lot of fighting. One side even purchases a “Terrafirminator” lawn-mower (voice over by Hulk Hogan) to settle the issue once and for all. (The Statue of Shakespeare shakes his head, telling the audience, “See, I’m telling you ...”).

Set to a soundtrack heavy on Elton John songs, this movie isn’t for everyone. But if you like “cute” and if you liked English Lit. when you were in high school, then I do think that you’ll like this movie.

<< NOTE - Do you like what you've been reading here?  If you do then consider giving a small donation to this Blog (sugg. $6 _non-recurring_) _every so often_ to continue/further its operation.  To donate just CLICK HERE.  Thank you! :-) >>

No comments:

Post a Comment