William Shakespeare wrote several classic plays, but few are more well-known than Romeo & Juliet. The tragic results of the love between the warring families, the Montagues and the Capulets, are considered one of the great love stories of all time. There was a movie that debuted last month on Hulu that took the Romeo & Juliet story and turned it on its head. By telling the story through the POV of Rosaline, Romeo’s jilted ex-love and Juliet’s cousin.
Rosaline (Kaitlyn Dever) was in love with Romeo (Kyle Allen), but the fates were against them. When Rosaline stood Romeo up at a masquerade ball because she was on a father-organized date with Dario (Sean Teale), he was crushed. However, he then met the fair Juliet (Isabela Merced) and fell in love with her.
Rosaline was angry and jealous over the betrayal and she wanted Romeo back so she planned to break apart the young lovers.
This was a funny film. I really enjoyed Rosaline. Kaitlyn Dever did a great job as the leading protagonist walking her way through the famous story of Romeo & Juliet. She and Sean Teale had some great chemistry with each other and you could tell immediately where this was heading. This was a good example of how predictability is not always a bad thing.
The writing of Rosaline was very clever as it weaved the new narrative with Rosaline into the existing story by Shakespeare seamlessly. They blended together beautifully and led to a third act that was very funny and well constructed.
Of course, Rosaline had more present day ideas and beliefs than you would expect someone to have in the days of Shakespeare. She was outspoken and unwilling to go along with the day’s expectations. It reminded me of Catharine Called Birdy, a film I saw a few weeks ago, as Rosaline was sabotaging the men her father (Bradley Whitford) was trying to set her up with as a husband to be.
One of the funniest things was one of the drawbacks many people have to Shakespeare. Romeo showed up to Rosaline speaking in the well-known vernacular of a Shakespeare play and Rosaline immediately asked him why he was speaking like that. The rest of the film the characters spoke in normal language, removing that obstacle for many viewers.
Kaitlyn Dever showed her skills in this picture and she carried much of the film on her shoulders. I had a lot of fun watching this movie on Hulu. You do not have to be a Shakespeare aficionado to enjoy this.