You’ll never look at your garden gnomes the same way again. Not after seeing Gnomeo & Juliet, that is.
I have to admit that I was not really looking forward to this movie. The previews were dull and it almost seemed as if the producers were trying too hard. Could there really be an interesting story? YES!
I was able to see Gnomeo & Juliet last week at an advanced screening but could not post me review until its public release. Surprisingly I enjoyed the movie, as did my daughter. We came home telling my husband all about it and he then regretted not going to see it with us.
Mr. Montague and Miss Capulet are neighbors that constantly bicker. Their feud trickles into the garden as the red gnomes (Montague’s garden) and the blue gnomes (Capulet’s garden) wage war on a daily basis. Well, war is a strong word. They basically ‘mess’ with each other and race lawn mowers. This starts to escalate though and that’s when things get sticky.
The story follows (loosely) the premise of Romeo and Juliet, even throwing in a talking statue of William Shakespeare saying, “I told you so”. Romeo is on a quest to get revenge and Juliet just wants to prove herself to be capable. They end up running in to each other and teasing one another, each trying to outwit the other. The playing turns into fondness then into love. And then they find out they are from opposite side of the garden wall.
The sub-characters Tybalt and Benny cause the most havok. Caught between the feud, Gnomeo and Juliet must find a way to make peace before everyone meets doom/is smashed. There are a few parts that Tybalt and Gnomeo ‘go at it’ and other where emotions run high. These are brief but smaller children may be need a little comforting. Revenge plays a large role as do impetuous decisions. There are a couple supposed ‘deaths’ but be reassured that the ending will leave everyone smiling.
The graphics are great and I love how the sound effects were so detailed. You even hear ‘tink’ when raindrops fell on the stone gnomes or when Gnomeo kissed his mom on the cheek. The music of Elton John was incorporated very smoothly and acted as ideal ‘mood’ music versus musical narration. The realism does have limits though. My daughter kept asking how it was possible that the gnomes were parent/child. I told her it was possible that they were purchased as a set. Gnome reproduction really is worth the time or imagination.
There is no innuendo except the two or three brief shots of a scantily dressed gnome (thong swimsuit). The humor is subtle yet works well. There is no magic. You just need to stretch you imagination that all things in the garden are alive. There’s no why. They just are. Once you get past that, you’ll find this to be a fun family movie.
Disclosure: I was provided with the free admission to this film to facilitate this review, which contains 100% my honest opinion.