At a recent after-work happy hour, I mentioned that Joss Whedon's new movie is Much Ado About Nothing. My mostly twentysomething co-workers' reactions were entirely predictable: Joss Whedon? Shakespeare? A Joss Whedon Shakespeare movie? OMG OMG OMG! A Joss Whedon Shakespeare movie!
As one co-worker said, "You had me at Joss Whedon."
Yeah, people, I get it. I totally understand your enthusiasm. One of Hollywood's hottest talents has taken a detour from his usual fantasy fare and delivered something unexpected: a new twist on one of William Shakespeare's most popular plays. OMG!
To be clear, I'm not mocking Whedon or his fans. But I must explain that while I've seen a fair number of Shakespeare's plays and certainly appreciate his talents, I've seen only one of Whedon's films -- The Cabin in the Woods, which I enjoyed very much -- and none of his TV shows, not a single episode. Yes, I'm that unhip. I don't know enough to pass judgment on or muster much enthusiasm for his work. But I do know a lot of very smart, sophisticated and discerning people who madly adore Whedon, so he must be doing a lot of things right.
Is Whedon's vision of Much Ado About Nothing any good? Yes. It's unusual, clever, creative and expertly rendered. My Whedon-worshipping friends won't be disappointed and will recognize many actors from other Whedon endeavors, which I'm sure will add to the fun. It's also a creative risk, and I credit Whedon for taking it.