When I first saw Shakespeare in Love in 1998, I was entertained, charmed and, in general, had a good time at the movies. Since then my hand has hovered over the title countless times in DVD bins. I’ve been on the point of buying it more times than I care to think about, but something always holds me back. Now, encountering the film a second time for this screening, I know why. It’s a film that — for all its charms — just doesn’t require, at least for me, a second viewing. The charm of its shaggy Shakespeare story is still there. The whole premise of Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) turning a bad idea for a bad play called Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter into a certain well-known work with a slightly altered title by virtue of his own ill-fated romance is still a cheeky conceit. The performances — especially Geoffrey Rush as a much put-upon theatrical impresario — are terrific. Tom Stoppard’s dialogue and John Madden’s direction still sparkle. But the freshness of the experience has gone, at least for me, and nothing that remains quite lives up to that. If you’ve never seen it, you should. If you have… well, your second look may yield dividends mine didn’t.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show Shakespeare in Love Sunday, June 30, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.