Gnomeo & Juliet

Gnomeo And Juliet

In Theatres: 
Feb 11, 2011

There have been many retellings of Shakespeare's tragic tale of forbidden love and war. Yes, I’m talking about Romeo & Juliet here, and like most of us, you were probably forced to read it at some point during your educational career. Kelly Asbury puts a twist on the classic, bringing everyday garden gnomes from opposing houses alive.

In case you aren’t familiar with the story, the basic gist is this. Two star-crossed lovers of rival families fall in love but are forbidden to be together; therefore they must meet in secret. In this case, we have the Reds versus the Blues. Each group of gnomes strives to have the best garden in the neighborhood. It’s a feud that escalates with every passing day.

Gnomeo Montague (James McAvoy) is a Blue and during one of his mischievous sabotaging missions, he stumbles upon a beautiful female gnome named Juliet (Emily Blunt). Unfortunately for him, she is a Red. Still, a different shade of color isn’t enough to stop their love for each other and while things get more and more tense between their families, their love remains strong.

Romeo and Juliet is sad and dark tragedy so there are bound to be some changes so that kids are not scarred for life, after all, I think a double suicide at the end would have been a little much. Many things were simply switched around to adapt the original to fit the story. For instance, the houses belong to people named Capulet and Montague. These subtle references are something that kids are probably not going to notice but their parents most certainly will. William Shakespeare even makes a brief cameo as a statue played by Patrick Stewart.

While geared towards kids, Gnomeo & Juliet is fun for the whole family. You’ll laugh and smile as the gnomes waddle around the yard trying not to be seen by humans. It’s a cute little love story with a decent cast including Michael Caine, Jason Statham, and even Ozzy Osbourne and Hulk Hogan make appearances.

I should give you a heads up though. Elton John is the executive producer so be prepared to listen to practically every one of his top songs. While it’s not that big a problem if you’re an Elton fan, by the end of the film I was tired of all the references to him and his music. I think he went a little overboard on making his presence known.

Gnomeo & Juliet isn’t the best retelling of Romeo and Juliet around but whether you’re an adult or a kid, you’re bound to find something to smile at. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in your garden when you’re not watching, now you know.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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