I’ve done this movie a great disservice and I feel very guilty about it. I sat down to watch Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing towards the end of the film festival. Bad idea.
You see, what’s both exciting and completely soul sucking about the Toronto International Film Festival is that there are always movies to see and places to be. As this was my first TIFF sans MTV, I was reveling in my newfound freedom. I didn’t have to host any red carpets or do any junkets, so I reviewed a slew of movies for my friend Lainey and hit up a bunch of parties (which I will get into more detail about in a later post). At the time it was all fun and games until the morning I was supposed to see this movie and then I got hurt. A week and a half of movie watching, reviewing and martini drinking had caught up with me. And as I peeled myself out of bed, I knew that I would be screening this movie as a shell of my former self.
Obviously the movie I chose to see was a Shakespeare comedy in black and white.
With my brain working at half speed and my eyes flying half-mast and my college English education desperately trying to keep up with the dialogue, I knew that I was headed for disaster: sleep. I hate people who sleep through movies. I’ve vowed never to be one of those people and yet I could feel it coming on. My eyes were heavy but I was fighting to reclaim consciousness because what I was watching was delightful.
The film is a modern day adaptation set in Santa Monica, California at the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen. I later found out they shot in Whedon’s actual home. Charmed. The characters are present day royalty and socialites and the vibe is very LA. The dialogue, spoken with such casual ease by a talented cast - a best-of compilation of actors from several of Whedon’s previous projects – brings a fresh new life to Shakespeare’s text.
Unfortunately, I was having a hard time keeping up. With every blink my eyelids were fighting for the strength to reopen. I knew I wanted to love what I was watching but instead I was trapped in a mid-conscious hell.
I never did fall asleep. And that is due entirely to the fact that, despite all the elements, Whedon had made a film that entertained. And considering he shot this as a secret side project during the making of his blockbuster phenom, The Avengers, it is a true testament to his talent, creativity and versatility as a filmmaker.
Mr. Whedon, I apologize and I will be seeing your movie again once I’ve slept for more than a few hours.
Attached - Joss Whedon at TIFF.