7.1/10
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Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 14 June 2013 (UK)
Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.

Director:

Joss Whedon

Writers:

Joss Whedon (written for the screen by), William Shakespeare (play)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Acker ... Beatrice
Alexis Denisof ... Benedick
Nathan Fillion ... Dogberry
Clark Gregg ... Leonato
Reed Diamond ... Don Pedro
Fran Kranz ... Claudio
Jillian Morgese ... Hero
Sean Maher ... Don John
Spencer Treat Clark ... Borachio
Riki Lindhome ... Conrade
Ashley Johnson ... Margaret
Emma Bates ... Ursula
Tom Lenk ... Verges
Nick Kocher ... First Watchman
Brian McElhaney ... Second Watchman
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Storyline

Leonato (Clark Gregg), the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John (Sean Maher). Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice (Amy Acker), the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage. In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies Conrade (Riki Lindhome) and Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark), plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins. A series of comic... Written by http://muchadomovie.com/#story

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Shakespeare knew how to throw a party See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexis Denisof (The Other), Amy Acker (Audrey Nathan, the Cellist), Nathan Fillion (Gotg Inmate), Reed Diamond (Daniel Whitehall), Jillian Morgese (Restaurant Woman), Ashley Johnson (Avengers Waitress Beth), Spencer Treat Clark (Werner von Strucker), Romy Rosemont (Shawna Lynde) and Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson) have each appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. See more »

Goofs

It is Ursula & Hero whom are 'meddling' (talking about Benedick's love for Beatrice as she eavesdrops). In the following scene, Claudio relays to Don Pedro that it was Margaret & Hero that were meddling. See more »

Quotes

Dogberry: Thou naughty varlet!
Conrade: Away! You are an ass! You are an *ass*.
Dogberry: Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years?
[Conrade escorted away]
Dogberry: O that she were here to write me down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer, and, which is more, a householder, and, which is more, as ...
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Connections

Version of Much Ado About Nothing (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Heavily
Lyrics by William Shakespeare
Music by Joss Whedon
Performed by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
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User Reviews

 
I was not impressed.
12 July 2013 | by sights0dSee all my reviews

I should preface this with the statement that I enjoy Whedon's work. I was excited to see how he would direct actors from his previous series. I was especially excited about this being a play with which I was already very familiar. I also make allowances for the fact that it was filmed in a particular fashion, within a particular timeline, for particular reasons. I know that makes it "arty" and critically or technically better.

That all being said, I found the film lackluster on several counts:

First, the acting seemed flat. Shakespeare (the comedies in particular) is supposed to be bigger than life. It is supposed to be over-acted in some respects. The characters in this version act in a rather flat way, almost as if they are afraid of showing too much emotion.

In some ways, this may be because the actors chosen were not necessarily ones who fit those particular roles. I liked all of the actors in other roles. Nathan Fillion, for example, would have made a wonderful Benedick. Amy Acker, similarly, seemed ill suited for the role of Beatrice and might have played a far better Hero.

Second, and perhaps this was specific to the theater in which I watched the film, but the sound seemed rather flat. That may even have been choice, but the sounds just didn't seem very layered.

Third, hearing Shakespearean dialogue done with a purposefully plain American accent is a bit harsh on the ears. That may sound petty, but the choices Shakespeare made regarding word order fit a British accent far better than an English accent.

Finally... I really had a tough time with the setting. I don't mind a Shakespearean comedy being staged in a non-traditional context. In fact, I am very receptive of it. Unfortunately, this particular setting didn't really work. Don John has been apparently arrested for "standing out against his brother," but he gets free run of an estate. He is a guest of a government who cannot afford actual handcuffs, just zip-ties. This is just one example of how the setting didn't really seem fitting.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Much Ado About Nothing See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$171,942, 9 June 2013

Gross USA:

$4,328,849

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,341,221
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bellwether Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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