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Garden Gnomes Take On William Shakespeare

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Here's his review.

KENNETH TURAN: The setting of the film is not ancient Verona but Verona Drive in today's Stratford on Avon. Neighbors Miss Montague and Mr. Capulet certainly dislike each other, but the heavy lifting in their feud is done by dueling teams of blue and red British garden gnomes, headed by Maggie Smith and Michael Caine.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GNOMEO & JULIET")

MICHAEL CAINE: (as Lord Redbrick) And as leader of this garden, it's up to me to...

EMILY BLUNT: (as Juliet) I am a Red, after all.

CAINE: (as Lord Redbrick) Oh, your fluffers are cultivated as your mother was. Bless her to bits. Now, back where you belong.

BLUNT: (as Juliet) Ugh. I can't just stay tucked away on a pedestal all my life...

TURAN: Playful, inventive and endearing, this 84-minute epic is smart enough not to overstay its welcome as it steers clear of the fatuous and the formulaic. As Shakespeare himself might have put it, 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished - even if it took a pack of gnomes to make it happen.

INSKEEP: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kenneth Turan is the film critic for the Los Angeles Times and NPR's Morning Edition, as well as the director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. He has been a staff writer for the Washington Post and TV Guide, and served as the Times' book review editor.