Home > Slide Shows/Photo Galleries > Of Gnomes and Letters: The Most Recent Adaptations of R&J

Of Gnomes and Letters: The Most Recent Adaptations of R&J

Andromeda M. Reyes
I do not claim ownership of any of the photos or videos used in this entry.

Starring Amanda Seyfried, Chris Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael García Bernal, and Franco Nero, this 2010 film is mostly chararecterized as a “loose adaptation” of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The romantic dramedy, of course, is a story of love, but rather of more than one pair of star-crossed lovers. The conflict in which the lovers are set however, are sorta different. They are not separated by an epic family feud but instead, are kept (50 years apart) by time and by their own egos. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is alienated from her workaholic chef fiance (Gael Garcia Bernal), who takes her to a trip to Verona. Leaving her work-obsessed boyfie behind, Sophie tours Verona and visits Juliet’s “shrine” where people seeking romance leave her letters containing their romantic aspirations. Sophie finds a 50-year old letter written by Claire (Redgrave). She seeks to find her and help her look for her long-lost love, Lorenzo (Franco Nero). In doing so, she meets Charlie (Chris Egan), Claire’s grandson, and finds a love story of her own.

NOTE: It ends with Charlie and Sophie in a balcony scene. Haha.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried)

Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) with Sophie

Charlie (Chris Egan) with Sophie

Lorenzo Bartolini (Franco Nero)

Victor, the workaholic Chef fiance (Gael Garcia Bernal)

The balcony scene



The epic family feud continues with this 3-D animation adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Coming this Spring (Summer here) 2011, this film, compared to “Letters to Juliet” is a bit more faithful to the story’s plot. The war between the Mr. Capulet and Mrs. Montague extends to their garden gnomes, where the two star-crossed lovers, Gnomeo and Juliet, are situated. Gnomeo comes from the family of blue gnomes, and Juliet, from the “Reds.” The feud sparks from all sorts of conflicts i.e. who gets the Orchid to have the prettier garden, who wins the lawnmower race and so on. The story ends sweetly when Gnomeo marries Juliet on a purple lawnmower (read: red+blue=purple). Truce! And oh, William Shakespeare is also cast in this film. Well, his statue, at least, which also comes to life, and gets the chance to meet Gnomeo.

I believe that this animation is actually an attempt to introduce children to Shakespeare. In the trailer, it even specifically states, “experience Shakespeare.” Since we have discussed Shakespeare in the “experience economy” the different ways in which one experiences his work may influence the way people think they WHO and WHAT Shakespeare is. Unlike maybe for example, Lion King, which is, as you know, is Hamlet, but never really links itself to the play.


  1. March 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I think that they should adapt other movies and not always Romeo and Juliet. Don’t get me wrong, Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays ever written but I think that it’s a bit too over used. We should explore other works of Shakespeare as well.

  2. andromedareyes
    March 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I agree. I myself is not a fan of R & J. I LOVE Henry IV Part 1 and 2. I think the “overpopularity” of Romeo and Juliet is the very reason why they keep remaking it. The goal of producers, I think, is to simply produce “more matter with less art.” Hahaha. It’s easier to make money in getting people to watch something they have a schema of, compared to, say, “Throne of Blood” which honestly bore me to death even if I have read Macbeth. But I think, for children, it’s a great idea to explore his other works. Sabi nga ni Ma’am, R & J society and Philippines. Para maiba naman 🙂

  3. March 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    elton john! cooooolll!!!

    i think gnomeo and juliet is really cute. but i always felt that what made r+j so moving was, not the forbidden love, but the fact that both lovers died in the end, making it more tragic than romantic.my criticism has always been that that people too often automatically associate forbidden love with r+j when r+j was about more than just forbidden love, but forbidden love that ends in the death of the lovers. i felt that their deaths was the vocal point of the play, not the forbidden love.

    but after seeing the trailer of gnormeo and juliet (where they used lines from the original play, where there’s the balcony scene), i feel that i stand corrected. r+j is not the moving piece of work that it is because of the death of the lovers, but because of a culmination of many timeless scenes, lines,and (of course) a timeless romance.

    also, it’s amazing to see how universal the names “romeo” and “juliet” have become, and what these names connote. rappers like lil’ romeo and movies like ‘romeo must die’ show that the name “romeo” is often linked to being a suave lover or a romantic. and the name “juliet” seems to connote beauty and endearment, as seen in ‘letters to juliet.’ i actually don’t think there’s a female literary character more famous than juliet. not aphrodite, helen of troy, cinderella or even hermione granger. the name juliet is a timeless name that connotes beauty, endearment and romance. that’s also the name of my late lola. and i must say, as famous as shakepeare’s juliet may be, she ain’t got nothin’ on my lola juliet!:)

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