Of the four ShakespeaRe-Told films, this one is far and away the weakest. It’s script is banal, it’s characters flimsy and annoying, and its pacing is awkard. The play is set in the modern day, at an upscale cottage retreat where Theo and Polly are holding an engagement party for their daughter, Hermia, and her life-long boyfriend James. But Hermia is really in love with Zander who crashes the party and absconds with Hermia, infuriating Theo. Meanwhile Hermia’s best friend Helena has had an ages-long crush on James, but when James discovers this, he pushes her away. Meanwhile, Theo and Polly’s relationship crumbles as he once again refuses to listen to her voice of reason. All fine and good, except all this relationship drama is handled with all the tact and subtlety of [enter teen drama of your choice here]. Throwing a further crap-wrench into the mix is the interference of the trickster Puck, and the King and Queen of the Faerie, Oberon and Titania, as well as a quintet of park workers who are preparing the party’s entertainment. Unlike the other Re-Told’s which bring things into a fully modern setting, the idea of the Faerie aren’t made tangible, and the maguffin of the “love juice” which causes much consternation and confusion for Hermia, Zander, James and Helena is beyond aggravating a plot device.
I think the producers should have went with an Indian-themed adaptation of the play, keeping the arranged marriage in-tact. Still not sure what to do about the Faerie, but given 20 minutes and some Google-based research I’m sure I could come up with something.
This one just seemed lazy. I’m glad it was the last of them I watched, as I probably wouldn’t have approached any of the others had I watched it before them.