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‘Romeo & Juliet’ Review: Young Stars Give Outstanding Performances

Fri, October 11, 2013 5:22pm EDT by 3 Comments
Courtesy of Amber Entertainment

The star-crossed lovers return to the big screen in a new film adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ The timeless love story unfolds with a couple of twists — and appearances from some of young Hollywood’s biggest stars!

If you’re a fan of the English playwright, you might want to scrap your plans for this weekend and check out Romeo and Juliet , hitting theaters Oct. 11. It’s the classic story of two star-crossed lovers whose tragic courtship (eventually) ends the rift between their feuding families, but with a modern twist you won’t be able to resist.

‘Romeo & Juliet:’ Expect Surprising Performances From Your Favorite Stars

You’re probably already familiar with Romeo and Juliet, but you might not have pictured the star-crossed lovers played by some of Hollywood’s hottest stars. Hailee Steinfeld, 16, brings the beautiful Juliet to life and adds a playful twist to the love-struck protagonist; and British heartthrob Douglas Booth, 21, takes on the role of Romeo. You might not be too familiar with the latter, but trust me, the British hunk will make you fall in love too! Douglas transforms the love-obsessed Romeo into a mysterious and captivating character — his deep and intense gazes into his lover’s eyes only heighten the couple’s passionate love affair.

While Hailee and Douglas carry the movie perfectly, there’s one unexpected star who might just blow you away: Ed Westwick, 26, who plays quick-tempered Tybalt in the film adaptation. The Gossip Girl stars’ screen time is brief, but his is one of the film’s most memorable performances. Ed embodies the volatile Capulet, as the usually laid-back Ed provokes deadly fights and intense showdowns in the flick. We bet you didn’t expect Chuck Bass to get down and dirty with some wild sword fighting! And just as a heads up, you might be rooting for the bad guys after Ed’s bloody battles — you’ve been warned!

But not all the of the film’s characters get mixed up in crazy blood baths. Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti, 46, manages to shy away from the Capulet/Montague fights as the doting Friar Laurence. Paul’s portrayal of Friar Laurence adds a fun edge to the tragic story. He’s funny, he’s witty and he’ s totally lovable. He’s also one of the few people supportive of the teens’ dangerous love fest — and that’s what makes the friar one of the film’s best characters. Paul is practically a member of the audience saying everything we’re thinking of!  At least we’re not alone.

Dialogue Won’t Be An Issue

If you’re worried you might not be able to keep up with story’s 16th-century English slang, have no fear! The latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet sticks to the plot — but not the dialogue. You’ll be able to keep up with the film and won’t feel the least bit lost.

Its up-to- date jargon makes the film even easier to enjoy. And don’t fret if you’re a stickler for the original; some of the story’s most memorable scenes are taken word for word, like Romeo and Juliet’s iconic balcony scene. Not even director Carlo Carlei, 53, would want to mess with that beautiful moment.

What about YOU Hollywood Lifers? Will you be watching Romeo and Juliet?

WATCH: Romeo & Juliet – Trailer (2013)

— Danielle Noriega 

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