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Joss Whedon’s "Much Ado About Nothing"

5 Aug
Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, the upcoming The Avengers and savior of various stalled movie franchises, has produced a perfect date movie, incredibly sweet, from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  Somewhere half way through one forgets both the antique English and the fact that the actors may be known to you as “Wesley Wyndham-Price” and “Winifred Burkle” (the lovers Alexis Denisov and Amy Acker played on Angel before they were Beatrice and Benedick in the current film) and the movie becomes adorable and engaging, Shakespeare’s comedy of love reset in suburban Los Angeles.  I hadn’t realized what a great debt Pat and Mike and other Hepburn/Tracy fare owed to this play about two arrogant, witty know-it-alls being dragged into admitting their desire for each other.

(Libertarians have long been in the forefront of Whedon fans for reasons I have written about elsewhere, though the libertarian content in his work may come partly from some of his less well known writer collaborators.)

Mr. Whedon also sets several short Shakespeare poems from the play to music that he wrote, sung by his brother and sister in law:

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, 

Men were deceivers ever, 

One foot in sea and one on shore, 

To one thing constant never: 

Then sigh not so, but let them go, 

And be you blithe and bonny, 

Converting all your sounds of woe 

Into Hey nonny, nonny. 


Sing no more ditties, sing no moe, 

Of dumps so dull and heavy; 

The fraud of men was ever so, 

Since summer first was leafy: 

Then sigh not so, but let them go, 

And be you blithe and bonny, 

Converting all your sounds of woe 

Into Hey nonny, nonny.