Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a “merry war”; they both talk a mile a minute and proclaim their scorn for love, marriage, and each other. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another. By means of “noting” (which sounds the same as “nothing,” and which is gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar. However, Dogberry, a Constable who is a master of malapropisms, discovers the evil trickery of the villain, Don John.
Joseph Hill “Joss” Whedon (born June 23, 1964) is an American screenwriter, executive producer, director, occasional composer and actor, and founder of Mutant Enemy Productions. He is best known as the creator and showrunner of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Angel (1999–2004), Firefly (2002) and Dollhouse (2009–2010). He is also notable for his work in film, comic books, and online media. Many of Whedon’s projects, as well as Whedon himself, enjoy a cult status. –wikipedia
Based off of the trailer, I didn't think this would work very well but I was pleasantly surprised! The actors all did an amazing job with the dialogue, making it feel very natural. You can tell Whedon really cared and understood the subject matter and just how funny the play can be. The full theater I was in was just howling with laughter. It took a moment for the style to settle but once it did, it was glorious.
The actors are thoroughly committed to Shakespeare's dialogue, but it still feels like a gimmick. It worked in Luhrmann's modernized Romeo + Juliet because the world those characters inhabited was notably stylized, whereas Whedon just sets the story in real-world SoCal (precisely, his house). Moreover, this is one of the Bard's slightest works. Competently made and good balancing of constant tonal shifts, but meh.
A couple of crowd-funding projects to check out, new trailers from Baumbach, Coppola, Malick and Whedon, Orson Welles’ Sketch Book & more.