I like Shakespeare. I always have. I know there are some who think he’s stuffy, pretentious, and the single leading cause of boredom among high school students. But I’ve just always liked him. I once played a witch in my school’s grade nine production of MacBeth (I’m not altogether certain what the fillet of a fenny snake is, nor what use eye of newt and toe of frog are for, but apparently it’s important for witchy things). I understood every word of Othello. I love writing a parody script of Twelfth Night. Had I not ended up in communications, I would have made an excellent English major and subsequent long-term barista/waitress.
I don’t really know how else one is supposed to begin discussing an adaptation of something, particularly when that something has already been adapted countless times over the years. In the case of Much Ado About Nothing, I thought Kenneth Branagh’s version hit the nail on the head. It was clever, well cast (with the exception of Keanu Reeves—not even high school students deserve to listen to his mechanically delivered lines for two and a half hours), and true to the source material. Whenever I think of how much I like Much Ado About Nothing, that’s the benchmark for me.