Much Ado About Nothing

photo for Much Ado About Nothing Speaking of vanity projects, here’s one that works: director Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” a delightful Shakespearean romp gussied up in 21st century garb and surroundings with 21st century sensuality and looks. The film was shot in just 12 days (using the original text), in secret, while Whedon was working on “Marvel’s The Avengers,” at Whedon’s Santa Monica home. It’s amazing that after seven centuries, ol’ William’s words and insights about relationships, lust, revenge and the game of love — here epitomized by sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick — still hold true. Lighthearted and thoroughly entertaining, mostly because the actors here strut their stuff, working with a director whose passion for the project drove him to forgo a vacation for his 20th wedding anniversary (suggested by his wife, Kai Cole.) Subtitled “Shakespeare Knew How to Throw a Party.” Extras: “Much Ado About Making Nothing” featurette, “Bus Ado About Nothing” featurette, commentary with screenwriter-director Joss Whedon, commentary with screenwriter-director Joss Whedon and cast, “Sigh No More” music video. Vitals: Director: Joss Whedon. Stars: Reed Diamond, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Tom Lenk, Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Riki Lindhome, Spencer Treat Clark. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Comedy-Romance-Drama, Box office gross: $4.096 million, Lionsgate. 3 stars

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