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Joshua Rothkopf Falls Flat in “Romeo and Juliet” Review

In response to Joshua Rothkopf’s 186‑word review of Romeo and Juliet on Time Out New York

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It’s difficult to discern what’s what in Joshua Rothkopf’s “Romeo and Juliet: movie review,” due to an underdeveloped take on the piece and the expectation that audiences will be familiar with the earlier works he draws from.

No doubt, the basic story behind Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (tightly and too-simply summed up here as “doomed love”) is familiar to most audiences. The star-crossed lovers have, after all, had 400 years of interpretation across media to vouch for the timeliness of their drama.

R + J Movie Review adds little to the conversation with a summary dismissal of the latest interpretation, a weak argument bolstered by weaker support in an overture that’s neither entertaining nor enlightening.

Very brief vignettes of the parts of the story audiences will be most familiar with are couched in superfluous description and then dismissed. There’s little matter here, only the bare bones of tiny bits of a textured story, fleshed out by “you know?” and “shouldn’t we expect?”

The result is an inexpert approach that demands “edginess” while seemingly misunderstanding the original context. A cautionary tale of adolescent stupidity is stapled to a zeitgeist-oriented understanding of the original work. It’s a terrifically weak swing at a softball.

In less than 200 words, it’s impossible to expect R + J Movie Review to do much. What it accomplishes, however, isn’t even worth the words it wastes. It’s a wholly expendable effort.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation