Today’s Love Stories: “Shakespeare in Love”

24 May

I am glad I finally watched the Best Picture of 1998, “Shakespeare in Love,” last night.

Glad because it is off my bucket list.

I was, quite frankly, bored stiff by it.  The characters, including the leads, were seemingly made of cardboard.  

A far cry from the love stories of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Even a far cry from “Monk” who expresses far more emotion with his eyes than Joseph Fiennes and Gwynneth Paltrow did with their words and bodies, even in their sex scenes.  No, especially in their sex scenes.  I have never seen such a vivid reminder that sex, if divorced from emotional warmth, could be boring.  

It is telling when the most interesting thing in a movie to me (a history buff) is to see how women of the time (the 1500’s) bound their breasts with a bolt of cloth twisted around and around and around themselves.  It was obviously meant to be alluring when Gwynneth Paltrow twisted around and around in a dance and Joseph Fiennes unwrapped that bolt of cloth, the first time they were together sexually.   It was telling that my reaction was simply, “Oh, so that’s how they did things back before brassieres were invented!”

Yup, I regard “Shakespeare in Love” as a highly stylized, historically accurate fail.  But maybe that is just me! 

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