One of the most endearing and intelligent romantic comedies of the 1990s, the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love is filled with such good will, sunny romance, snappy one-liners and devilish cleverness that it's absolutely irresistible. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, at its outset the film tracks young Will Shakespeare's overwrought battle with writer's block and the efforts of theatre owner Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush, in rare form) to stage Will's latest comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Jokey comedy, though, soon takes a backseat to ravishing romance when the beautiful Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition in the all-male cast and wins both the part of Romeo and, after much misunderstanding, the playwright's heart. Soon enough, Will's pirate comedy becomes the beautiful, tragic Romeo and Juliet, reflecting the agony and ecstasy of Will and Viola's romance--he's married and she's set to marry the slimy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth).
When Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) needs passionate inspiration to break a bad case of writer's block, a secret romance with the beautiful Lady Viola (Paltrow) starts the words flowing like never before! There are just two things he'll have to learn about his new love: not only is she promised to marry someone else, she's successfully impersonating a man in order to play the lead in Will's latest production!
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