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Shakespeare in Love: A Movie Review

Updated on October 12, 2014

Wow! That's what I found myself shouting after watching this amazing movie, Shakespeare in Love.

Let me provide a bit of background information about yours truly. I don't do romance. I'm a fan of science fiction, fantasy and mystery shows. The occasional suspense movie is a nice diversion. I don't do romance.

That said, I will very rarely watch a movie more than once. Those that head up the lineup are: Dune [the David Lynch version], Dune and Children of Dune [the HBO mini series], Serenity and Firefly. A recent addition to that list is Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and Gosford Park. So, when I tell you this movie has joined the other awesome titles on that list, you know it's a great movie. I'm waiting on the completion of the Hobbit movies and their availability on DVD before I add The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit to this collection.

The cast was well chosen. Many of the actors are among my favorites: Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Joseph Fiennes, Martin Clunes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Imelda Staunton and Judi Dench. Wow, what a lineup and there are even more on the cast which I didn't mention. Every actor delivers on cue and excellently so.

The movie entwines themes from the play, Romeo and Juliet, and is further embellished with allusions to other plays by William Shakespeare. Enthusiasts of the Bard of Avon may be able to point to homages from the plays and sonnets and may even know where they come from, can you?

When I watch a movie, many times I get caught up in the costuming. Period costuming is even more challenging for the crew backstage, but they pulled it off well for the movie. Even period details, like tooth brushes of the times, foot roasting and the absence of women from the stage added to the wonderful detail of the movie.

Action, humor, passion and drama find a foothold in the story and go prancing around like the actors themselves on the stage. There are mature themes and a few scenes which wouldn't be suitable for a child under fifteen, though nothing overly graphic and raunchy. Considering the lifestyles and morals of the time, the movie is relatively "clean."

Shakespeare Uncovered
Shakespeare Uncovered

An exploration of some of Shakespeare's work by actors who have played the lead roles in them.


Do You Read Shakespeare?

How many of William Shakespeare's works have you read?

See results

The Bard is one of those celebrities of history destined to be renowned throughout the ages. If you don't believe me, how long have teachers been assigning reading from the writings of this genius from the 16th century? I find that his contributions can not only be appreciated by reading his plays and poetry, but by enjoying the contributions of others inspired by him to create on his behalf.

BBC Shakespeare Tragedies DVD Giftbox
BBC Shakespeare Tragedies DVD Giftbox

A great collection of Shakespeare's popular tragedies boxed up all nice like and ready for gift-giving to yourself or a friend.

The Shakespeare Conspiracy Presented by Sir Derek Jacobi
The Shakespeare Conspiracy Presented by Sir Derek Jacobi

Love a good conspiracy? Here's one involving the Bard himself.


No! Not the artful postures of love, but love that overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love as there has never been in a play. I will have love. Or I will end my days as a... [nurse].

— Viola De Lesseps, Shakespeare In Love
Image photo-manipulated by hub author. Original image from Morguefile.
Image photo-manipulated by hub author. Original image from Morguefile. | Source

Lastly and most importantly, this movie makes for great viewing. I don't regret that I detoured from, however briefly, my viewing preferences. Though I was concerned that a movie that was so old would be a challenge to watch all the way through, I was wrong. When a movie comes together well and is performed even better than well, the audience is in for a real treat. I would have missed out if I had passed by the chance to watch it and you will too.


Image photo manipulated by Author

Share your thoughts on any of the below or another topic of your choosing by commenting below.

  • What's your favorite romance? Why
  • Have you watched this movie? What did you like best about it.
  • What is your preferred genre to watch in movies?
  • Do you enjoy reading or watching Shakespeare's works?

© 2014 Tanya Jones


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    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @DreyaB: Thank you, DreyaB, for visiting. I appreciate your comments. When I watch a movie (or read a book) I've visited before, I always pick up something new that I missed before. I agree. Good film-making or good book writing stands alone regardless of genre and is well worth the viewing (or reading).

    • DreyaB profile image


      4 years ago from France

      It's a wonderful film isn't it?! I saw it at the time it came out and a couple of viewings since then - must watch it again soon. I'm not big on romances either - my fave genres are much like yours - but when a film is good, (writing, acting, direction and production) it doesn't matter what type it is - it's just good. Thanks for reminding me about this one! :0)

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @photographershu: Thank you for taking the top to visit and comment. Those sound like interesting titles. I'll have to check them out.

    • photographershu profile image


      4 years ago

      I too loved this movie. Great script and characterization. Two other great films you might be interested in, if you haven't seen them of course. First with Joseph Fiennes is Martha, meet Daniel, Frank and Lawrence and my absolute all time favourite, Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. I am obviously a big softie. Thanks for the very nice comments on my lens too.

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @KimGiancaterino: It's a fun movie and I really enjoy Dench's performance above all. Thanks for taking a moment to visit and comment, KimGiancaterino.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      4 years ago

      I have to admit, I enjoyed this movie and really need to see it again.

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Sylvestermouse: it is well done. you're welcome, and thanks for stopping in to comment, sylvestermouse.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      It is definitely time for me to watch this movie again! Thank you for a great reminder and review!

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Arachnea: Please do. I loved your review!

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @BritFlorida: Thank you. That's thoughtful of you. Glad you enjoyed the review. I'll have to find my way to that list as I enjoy watching Brit-TV more than tv here.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Just to let you know that I added this review to my British films list.

      Thank you!

    • Arachnea profile imageAUTHOR

      Tanya Jones 

      4 years ago from Texas USA

      @DeborahDian: Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Yes very creative -- genius even.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I loved this movie ... and I love many of Shakespeare's plays. What a creative mind!


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