Hoffman (Soapdish, One Fine Day) leads a first-rate cast in an intelligent, fully realized adaptation of Shakespeare's most popular comedy that's at once highly cinematic and true to its source.
One of the best of the many delights of director Michael Hoffman's new film -- is that he manages to have it both ways -- the gauzy fantasy and the bacchanal.
Michael WilmingtonChicago Tribune
Most of the original play's magical speeches are preserved here, and however far this film may seem to stray from the original text, the delights remain. [14 May 1999, Friday, p.A]
Hoffman has wedged the play into a weirdly inapposite setting, has stupidly cut and even more stupidly embellished it, and has miscast it almost to a player. And yet the damn thing works: Shakespeare staggers through, mutilated but triumphant.
Susan WloszczynaUSA Today
The major flaw, the clash of acting styles, is at least fascinating to observe. [14 May 1999, Life, p.8E]
Whimsical, intermittently enjoyable but decidedly unmagical.
Kline turns in a bravura performance -- he's one of the few in this star-packed cast who actually knows what to do with Shakespeare's poetry.
Paula NechakSeattle Post-Intelligencer
Shakespeare's comical, all-too-human tale of lust, foreplay and wordplay is buried beneath bad taste.
Ella TaylorL.A. Weekly
The set design is gung-ho Hallmark (Tinkerbell lights, that sort of thing) with a strong whiff of Fellini (the fairy glade looks like a pre-Raphaelite red-light district).