7.1/10
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99 user 226 critic

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

In a May 2013 interview, Joss Whedon noted that aside from abridging the text, he stayed completely true to Shakespeare's original dialogue - except for the Act 2, Scene 3 line in which Benedick says "if I do not / love her, I am a Jew." It was changed to "if I do not love her, I am a fool." 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: Well , masters good night.
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Connections

Version of Viel Lärm um nichts (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Lift Our Hearts
Music by Jed Whedon
Performed by Jed Whedon
See more »

User Reviews

 
Some Ado to Be Made About this Rendition
28 October 2019 | by SweaterizedSee all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this movie on Hulu a few night ago, and since Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, I was eager to dive in.

For the most part, it doesn't disappoint. Whedon, as usual, has a good eye for mood and for how dialog impacts action. The visual of the "mourners" coming down the hillside with candles was in itself an amazing feat of cinematography and setting, for example. The acting was superb as well, and in general this modern translation of the play captures its essence and impact.

Some specifics for me:

1) The actress playing Beatrice -- amazing job. Hate to say this, but I think she may have done a better job of interpreting the role than Emma Thompson in many ways. Very believable incarnation, and this helped to make the humor of her biting wit more comprehensible.

2) The backstory -- Not that every little piece has to be specifically addressed, but I didn't quite get what Don Pedro was the "prince" of. Not sure if he and his "soldiers" were Mafia, or actual royalty, or what, but that lack of clarity seemed to hurt the credibility a bit.

3) The actor playing Benedick -- I've seen him before in other things, and he's generally good, but I don't think this was the role for him. As much as Beatrice sold her role to the audience, Benedick did not, especially in the dramatic scenes. He was okay in the purely comedic scenes, granted, but for me and others, his lack of "presence" hurt the relationship between him and Beatrice. Benedick is a difficult role, and perhaps another Whedon associate could have done it more justice. Tudyk, perhaps? Or put Fillion there instead of Dogberry?

4) General interpretation -- Lots of little things throughout to really help make the action and the words clear, or perhaps to put a little different twist to things. When Claudio sees Hero faint, for example, he instinctively starts to go to her but is restrained by Pedro; nice touch. The music is fun, and I'm going now to find this version of "Hey, Nonny, Nonny." Not quite sure why black and white was chosen, but no complaints; it adds some "classiness" to this movie. Acting in general was good -- Don John, Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, Ursula -- nearly everyone gave Branaugh's version a run for its money.

5) Diversity -- Not sure why this was so very, very white. I think there is a danger in diversity for diversity's sake, but no major roles in other ethnicities at all?

6) Dogberry -- It's going to be difficult for anyone to top Michael Keaton's take on Dogberry, but Nathan Fillion does a pretty good job here. I think one weakness is that somone (Whedon?) decided that Dogberry ought to have some credibility, so Fillion had to navigate tricky waters with the character. Not sure it completely worked, but Fillion did what he could with what he was given.

All in all, a fun rendition of a great play. I enjoyed the risks Whedon took, and the overall feeling of "a party gone wrong and then put right again."


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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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