Gnomeo & Juliet

Rated G 84 min. 2011

Only last week I wondered why Baz Luhrmann hadn’t thought to include yard ornaments in his radical Romeo + Juliet. Well, now I understand perfectly, if not painlessly. I don’t even think the leads in this film are garden gnomes. I actually have some garden gnomes, assuming this movie hasn’t caused them to crawl away to die of embarrassment, and they are far more dignified than these shabby imposters. Discounting William Shakespeare and the two guys who wrote an earlier screenplay, it took seven writers to come up with the script for this. What you have here is exactly what the film promises: a really dumb version of Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending aimed at kids. Now, on that basis, you might wonder about the inclusion of a Brokeback Mountain gag and a soundtrack mostly compromised of songs from Grandad’s old Elton John records. Well, I guess that’s meant to make the film tolerable to viewers who have graduated from drinking out of Tommee Tippee cups. If you must know, the story follows Gnomeo (James McAvoy), the darling of Blue Gnome matriarch Lady Bluebury (Maggie Smith), who meets Juliet (Emily Blunt), daughter of the patriarchal Lord Redbrick (Michael Caine), and is immediately smitten. Since both are in disguise — she’s dressed as a ninja gnome (don’t ask) — they don’t realize they’re from opposite sides of a long-standing backyard feud between the Blues and the Reds. The path of true love may not run smoothly, but it certainly runs predictably as the lovers find themselves at the center of the long-running feud.

Film Credits

Official Site: gnomeoandjuliet.com

Director: Kelly Asbury

Writer: Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley

Producer: Baker Bloodworth, David Furnish and Steve Hamilton Shaw

Cast: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Jim Cummings, Richard Wilson and Julie Walters

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Gnomeo & Juliet

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