We saw Gnomeo and Juliet last night. I didn't really research anything about it before going to see it, except to see that the critics gave it a C+ when looking for show times. I never believe the critics. Ever. When I see that professional movie critics give a rating on something, I automatically raise that rating mentally in my head by a full letter grade.
I didn't know that Elton John was the executive producer and that his last 40 years worth of hits were the soundtrack. And I LOVE my Elton. :) I loved all the little prods and jokes that were geared towards his eccentric costuming and styling. (Elton wore insane outfits and pulled crazy stunts decades before Gaga was born my friends.)
Okay, beyond that, this is basically Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but told a little differently. The Montagues and the Capulets are Mr. Montague who lives in a red house, and Mrs. Capulet, who lives in a blue house. The two humans detest each other and are constantly trying to outdo one another's garden with ever more exorbitant statuary, decor and plants. Likewise, the red gnomes and the blue gnomes in each respective garden detest one another and try to sabotage each other's work on a regular basis.
Gnomeo is a blue gnome, son of the Lady Blueberry, head of Mrs. Capulet's garden. Juliet is a lovely little red gnome who is over-protected by her father, who is the leader of Mr. Montague's garden, and forced to spend her days standing up high on a pedestal when she will be safe from the only way that gnomes can die - being smashed.
You know the story - boy meets girl, they fall in love, it's a forbidden love and things get ugly and someone dies. Except that the someone who dies is Tybalt, a chubby troublemaker, who flies through the air at top speed and smashes into a brick wall. Gnomeo gets carried away by a slobbering bulldog and then placed high atop a bronze statue of the Bard himself, where he tells Old Will that killing Romeo and Juliet was a rediculous way to end a love story and he wasn't going to let it happen that way. Later, it almost happens at the blades of a lawnmower called the 'Terrafirmanator' run amok. There is also a pink flamingo with an accent that is somewhere between Jacques Cousteau and Desi Arnaz, a blue mushroom that has the instincts of a lap dog, and a two chubby blondes with southern accents. (Ever wonder why Hollywood always gives the chubby blonde a Southern accent?? It happens a lot.)
I came away with full determination to have gnomes in my garden this spring, and I am relatively certain that I MUST have an Elton John weathervane. I also really enjoyed this delightful, colorful retelling of a great love story. It's the kind of film that made me want to sing along with the songs, and made me laugh and smile throughout the whole thing. My fellow gardeners, you should definitely go see this. Yes, it's a cartoon, and a kid's flick, but there are enough gardening references to tickle your fancy.
Final Grade? I give it a B+. It will definitely be something I will buy when it is available on DVD.
Oh, and there are two things that I can't stand when going to the movies. First - the young folks who leave the theater complaining about how terrible the movie was in extremely loud voices because they have the delusional notion that someone in that hallway actually gives a damn about their opinions.
Second - the Trash-tastic mom who walks in with her 6 children during the last 30 minutes of the film, having come from the 3D theater across the corridor, saying to her kids, "See, now we can watch the rest of this movie for free!"