5 April 2000 | Cinemasitter
Charming throwback to 1930s musicals
Thanks heaven for Kenneth Branagh; without him, cinema would be far less interesting and rewarding. His adaptations of Shakespeare will undoubtedly be his lasting contribution to the history of film, and this is no exception.
Having never read the play, I was quite pleased that Love's Labour's Lost was as easy to follow as it was. This has a fair amount in common with Branagh's earlier Much Ado About Nothing; mainly the highs, lows and plain ridiculousness of love. That film also featured Hollywood star casting (Keanu Reeves among others), but like that film, does not suffer from it. Indeed, it only seems to boost the feel-good nature of this film, as the actors joyfully get their collective teeth stuck into some of Shakespeare's wonderful dialogue.
What really makes this a must-see though is how the text is broken up into easily digestible chunks, interspersed with classic musical numbers from the 1930s. I wasn't prepared for how much of a joy it was to see some wonderfully romantic songs (sung pretty well actually) being put to some great dance numbers - Adrian Lester in particular was good. If, like me, you're too young to feel particularly nostalgic towards a time and genre of film that has long since gone, then I urge you to watch this and learn. And if you are old enough to yearn for those days, then do yourself a favour and go see!