A Midsummer Night's Dream
The world needs another Shakespeare play on film about as much as it needs another book of Jewel's poetry or another appearance by Richard Simmons on any given talk show. To make things worse, this film does the actor du jour thing by featuring Calista Flockhart, that star of "Ally McBeal" who claims not to have an eating disorder despite the fact that if she stands too close to the curb people park their cars in front of her and stick quarters in her mouth.
This particular play doesn't even translate well into film. Its three acts are so distinct that it's impossible to forget that it's a play, which is a really bad sign if you're trying to make a film. What's the point? The first act is set in Tuscany at the end of the 19th Century, mainly so that the actors can ride around on bicycles and look silly. Theseus (David Strathairn) is getting married to Hippolyta (Sophie Marceau) but must first deal with a problem involving a young engaged couple. Demetrius (Christian Bale) is supposed to marry Hermia (Anna Friel) but Hermia is in love with Lysander (Dominic West). Then there's Helena (Flockhart) who's in love with Demetrius but who isn't in love with her. The second act kicks off when the kids go to the forest and, unbeknownst to them, end up in the middle of fairy land. Since this damn explanation is going to go on forever, let's just say that Oberon (Rupert Everett) is trying to get back at Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer) and starts putting love drops on everybody's eyes with the help of Puck (Stanley Tucci). This leads to confusion.
The third act is a bad play starring Bottom (Kevin Kline), who was turned into an ass in the second act and ended up boning Titania. But back to the second act for a second. Once all the boning ends, the women wake up with their hair all over their cleavage so as not to expose their breasts. You know, either you're naked or your not. Either you're having sex or you're not. And either you're an actress with some guts or you're not. Not that a shot of Calista's cleavage would have in any way saved this film since the very phrase is an obvious oxymoron.
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