The upstanding Romeo (Bloom) thinks he fancies the fair Rosalind but he soon gets the hots for the beautiful Juliet (Rashad). The twist? She's a member of the despis... ah, you went to school. You know the rest.
Last year's Broadway run of Shakespeare’s great love story is immortalised here on film, with all the strengths and weaknesses you might expect of a straight theatre lift. There’s a tendency to declaim to the back rows, and the sets are, of course, stagey. But Orlando Bloom is a pleasantly unlikable Romeo — callow, brash and impetuous — while Condola Rashad is his match as a girlish, flighty Juliet. Their love story therefore has the ring of truth as well as tragedy, and the inevitable end is a sort of maturing assumption of responsibility as well as a declaration of devotion.
The thoughtful translation from the Broadway boards to the cinema screen and well-chosen leads makes this for a better than average adaptation.