Gnomeo & Juliet

“The story you are about to hear has been told before. A lot.”

It’s the classic tale of romance and tragedy – two free-spirited youths fall in love, only to discover that they come from feuding families. Meeting in secret, the lovers are torn between tradition and happiness while their families continue to war. Yes, it’s Romeo and Juliet – only this time, it’s told with garden gnomes.

Gnomeo & Juliet is a light-hearted spoof that follows the exploits of two garden gnomes who meet from across the fence. Caught up in a battle between neighboring yards, the ceramic lovers face furious parents, revengeful friends, and lawnmower races in an attempt to find true happiness. Needless to say, it’s ridiculous and proud of it. Despite the silliness, it was a comedy I enjoyed, but it wasn’t quite innocent enough to be a favorite. Here’s why.

The Good

As is the case with the original play, the movie speaks out against discrimination and prejudice. When they fall in love, Gnomeo and Juliet begin to look past each other’s color and family history, and they ultimately force their families to do the same.

To help the lovers get over their differences, a sprightly lawn flamingo tells the story of how a divorce split him from his plastic mate. This sad tale demonstrates how the pain caused by divorce extends past the couple and affects the world around them, draining the happiness that was brought by love and marriage. The flamingo tells the lovers “Hate tore my relationship apart, and I couldn’t do anything about it. But you can.”

On a related note, the folly of revenge is revealed. Within the feuding families, certain gnomes are bent on seeking payment for personal wrongs. The relentless pursuit of revenge ends in disaster, even death, multiple times.

The Bad

As is to be expected, Gnomeo and Juliet’s forbidden love brings a lot of friction from their parents. The youths lie and sneak around without permission in an attempt to keep their romance concealed. This seems to cause more problems for Juliet than it does for Gnomeo. Juliet’s father wants to keep his “delicate” daughter safe, which means confining her to her pedestal in the garden. Juliet is less than compliant.

The movie also features a lot of flirty love. Besides Gnomeo and Juliet’s relationship, which can be excused, several secondary characters have unnecessary romances. Juliet’s friend exaggerates the tragic intrigue of Juliet’s forbidden boyfriend, and there are a few subtly sexual comments, such as the line “I am not illiterate – my parents were married!”

On top of all this, the movie is heavily smattered with crude content. Gnomes are dressed (er, painted) immodestly, a little crude humor is used, and some mild language is tossed around, including lots of insults.

Overall

In the end, Gnomeo & Juliet was a “just miss” for me. Its silly story was surprisingly enjoyable, with solid animation and goofy humor, but the list of negatives is rather long. While there was nothing extremely repulsive, there was just one too many smudges to make the film truly enjoyable. I’d consider watching it again, but you’re not missing anything if you skip this one.

Advertisements
  1. I saw this myself–I didn’t think it was all that good when I did see it. There wasn’t really much originality, and it was a little too silly for me. I did rather enjoy the talking Shakespeare statue, however. XD

    Other than that, it’s been pretty much classified as “fluff” in my mental files. It’s good if you want something to laugh at, but not if you want to really appreciate something.

    In other words, you quoted my thoughts exactly. Well done! 😀

    • Yes, the writer-jabs were probably the best part (like the statue and the gnome who read the prologue at the beginning). Very funny. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Add your voice to this conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s