Friday, September 7, 2012

Shakespearean appropriation - "Gnomeo and Juliet"

For my piece of Shakespearean "kitsch" I selected the children's movie Gnomeo and Juliet. I came across this piece a few weeks ago while on vacation with my family. I have a large family and one of our seven year olds, Mckenna, insisted that she tell me a story. This "story" ended up being the plot of the movie Gnomeo and Juliet, which she had seen recently at summer camp. I patiently listened as she tried to remember if it was the gnomes in Juliet's side that wore the red hats or if those gnomes wore the blue hats. Eventually I asked her to skip to the end and "get to the good stuff." I was a little wary about how she would handle the tragedy that occurs in the end of Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet. Much to my surprise she explained that the gnomes live happily ever after. In fact, Gnomeo and Juliet get married atop a purple tractor to symbolize the integration of the blues and reds, their former rival families. This specific piece of appropriation struck me because it is aimed at children and actually rewrote the end of Shakespeare's play in order to achieve that target audience. I'm sure if you're a seven year old who hasn't read the original play, this movie is extremely enjoyable. I don't think I'll be hosting a viewing party anytime soon, though.

Link to the IMDB description, including cast, plot, and other information about the movie:

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