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Gnomeo and Juliet

Do you have yard decorations? A plastic flamingo here… and Yard gnome there… that funny frog fountain you got a few years back… Well if you do, there could be a huge inter-color war going on between your yard and the neighbors…

Well, maybe not. But in this movie, that is definitely the case.
There is one rule. If you are a blue gnome- you fight the reds. If you are a red gnome, you fight the blues. That is the way it is.
In this movie Disney takes a tragedy by William Shakespeare and turns it into a Toy Story like tale of the reds Vs the blues.Including of course; Gnomeo and Juliet.

Things I Liked

This story is about love and getting along. Albeit in a rather than unusual way… but the message is there. One of my favorite parts about the movie was a depiction of how divorce not only hurts the people married, but everyone around them. Many films nowadays show divorce a normal and acceptable way of life. This movie shows how much this action can hurt and what remains after the act.Although gnomeo and Juliet just met, they continually risk smashing (death) to save one another.

If you have watched alot of disney movies, you will catch many quotes and references from older animated Disney films. It was a very funny and enjoyable addition to the movie.

Things I Didn’t Like

The whole story of Romeo and Juliet was written with the premise they must hide from their families if they wanted to be together. This movie is no different. Several times we see both lovers lie about where they were, what they were doing etc. Juliet continually rebels against her father, and her father is shown as an overprotective worrygnome. Gnomeo is no better. He continually sneaks away from his mother, then lies about what he did or didn’t do. All of this is excused in the viewers eyes for the cause of “love”.When Gnomeo and Juliet meet, it is portrayed as love at first sight. Of all the things Hollywood comes out with, this idea sickens me most. The idea that “Love” is an uncontrollable emotion we are to be whisked away in a dreamland wind… is just as flawed as saying the moon is purple. We see throughout the whole movie they have a conscious choice to be loyal to their color. They plan to do so, until they see each other. Then everything goes dreamy and they can’t help themselves.

The majority of humor presented in this movie disappointed me quite a bit. There were lots of crude and toilet humor references… Which coming from Disney surprised me as that is more in Dreamworks’ department.

As far as violence goes there are plenty of near miss moments of smashing in the movie. Gnomes are made of cement, so there is plenty of clinking, chipping, and other threatening words… one gnome is smashed, quite dramatically too. There is also an intense push-mower race.Some other negatives include a  guy gnome in a thong type thing. There is a country girl gnome with tight clothes and revealing gnomish cleavage. Slang such as “junk in the trunk” and other innuendo references are used. A reference to infidelity was mentioned in a comeback line.

Gnomeo and Juliet clink lips. As far as swearing, the only thing I noticed was a poor pun attempt “Let’s go kick some grass!”.

Closing Thoughts

It is no doubt that William Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet” was created without a biblical mindset, so is it any surprise that this movie falls to greater depths? We do see an honorable viewing on how fighting and relationships can damage others. There are some very funny one-liners. And there is something to note on giving one’s life for people you love.

But couple that with the Dreamworks like toilet humor , the considerable amount of unneeded sexual jargon, and overall unnecessary adult humor…

Avoiding this movie is no misgnomer to me.

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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.

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