Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Entertainment One 

Release date: June 6th, 2011
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 83 minutes

Director: Kelly Asbury
Music by: Chris Bacon, James Newton Howard, Elton John

Voice cast: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Jason Statham, Michael Caine, Ashley Jensen, Ozzy Osbourne, Matt Lucas, Julie Walters, Richard Wilson, Patrick Stewart

If there was anything I hated in English class it was Shakespeare – I know, its sacrilege to say – but those long monologues together an impenetrable literary style were a nightmare to read and revise for. Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear and A Midsummer’s Night Dream were all on our syllabus and dear old Shakey seemed like he was never far away…much to my dismay.

Despite that, I did always have a soft spot for Romeo & Juliet though; the star crossed lovers who meet their tragic end all because of a silly family feud. While Baz Luhrmann’s hip and violent 1996 screen adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes bought it a legion of young fans, it’s this new version that takes the story, spins it on its head and delivers something all together new. In plain English.

Gnomeo & Juliet

It’s set in the back gardens of two feuding neighbours, Mrs. Montague (Julie Walters) and Mr. Capulet (Richard Wilson). Unknown to them, there’s an entire community of gnomes and other inanimate objects that come to life when they’re not around. On one side, the blue hat gnomes and on the other, the red hat gnomes and they both despise each other.

While out one night and in disguise, a red gnome, Juliet (Emily Blunt), attempts to pick a beautiful flower from a nearby night garden, but just as she’s about to, a blue gnome, Gnomeo (James McAvoy), appears and plucks it. They quarrel and spar over it and inevitably they fall in love under the moonlight before realising they are supposed to be sworn enemies. And so begins their doomed romance…or perhaps not!

Gnomeo & Juliet

Filled with a wonderful support cast that includes Matt Lucas as Gnomeo’s best friend Benny, Michael Caine as Juliet’s father Lord Redbrick, Ashley Jensen as Juliet’s friend Nanette and Ozzy Osbourne as Tybalt’s (Jason Statham) friend Fawn, Gnomeo & Juliet proves once again that sometimes good things come in small packages. It’s like no other Shakespeare adaptation I’ve ever seen – or heard!

Gnomeo & Juliet

The soundtrack features music by Elton John, Nelly Furtado, Kiki Dee and Lady Gaga while the score was composed by Chris P. Bacon and James Newton Howard. During key moments you’ll hear classic Elton songs like Crocodile Rock, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Your Song and Rocket Man, so no doubt there’s something for older viewers to enjoy here too.


  • Alternate ending
  • Frog Talk with Ashley Jensen
  • The Fawn of Darkness
  • Crocodile Rock music video

As the gnomes rewrite Shakespeare, battles are still fought but with lawnmowers and anything else these miniature folks can find. There are many hilarious scenes and so many memorable characters that it’ll be a long time before I forget poor little dopey Fawn or the crew of bunnies with their stealthy signalling techniques or Nanette prancing about and proclaiming to Juliet “Your love is doooooomed!”. There’s even a moment when Shakespeare (Patrick Stewart) tells Gnomeo about a story he once wrote. It’s up to you though which one you prefer, but I’d go with the little gnome’s story any day!

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