Thursday, May 26, 2011

DVD Mini Roundup: Gnomeo and Juliet

I honestly had no idea what to expect when watching garden gnomes play out the Shakepearean romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet.  The voice work was pretty amazing - James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Michael Caine, Dolly Parton, and the music of Elton John.
But the really charming thing that draws you into the movie and reinvents the familiar story is the fact that they are garden gnomes.  They seem to obey the Toy Story rules where they must act like solid unmoving creatures when people are watching, but in their absence have drag races on lawn mowers and have to obey many laws of lawn ornaments, decay, polishing, chips, and ultimately the possibility of breaking = death.
While inherently a children's story based on the animation and the general tone of the jokes, it's also a movie that adults will enjoy rewatching due to all the double entendres dropped right and left, the semi-dirty talk that goes on under the guise of childish banter.  And there's something for the nerds too with how all the dialogue is an updating of the actual Shakespearean scenes while never feeling forced or particularly contrived.
There were a few times my attention waned, but in general it makes the most of its 84 minute run-time.  If you have kids, I'm sure you'll be watching this sooner than later.  Make them be that kid in 9th grade that says "this is just like Gnomeo & Juliet" when their teacher introduces the original. 4 of 5 stars/lambs

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