The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0787 Tuesday, 1 September 1998.
From: Richard A. Burt <
Date: Sundayy, 30 Aug 1998 22:49:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: SHAKSPOP
There are several references to _Romeo and Juliet_ in a film called
_Lucas_ (1986, dir. David Seltzer, 20th Ct. Fox 104 mins). The film is
about a 14 yr old smart "wimp" named Lucas who befriends a 16 yr old new
girl (named Maggie) to the high school and then falls in love with her.
She in turn falls for the football qb (Charlie Sheen), who sticks up for
Lucas when he is picked on by other jocks. A "nerd" (Winona Ryder) falls
in love with Lucas and brings up R and J to Lucas twice. He then brings
up Shakespeare in a scene with Maggie, the girl with whom he has fallen
in love to mark the difference between their relationship and that of
Shakespeare's characters. Though he's no Romeo, Lucas does become a
school hero when he gets hurt playing football in an attempt to prove to
Maggie that he's as much a jock as the qb. In the final scene, everyone
claps for him when he returns to school and finds a football jacket with
his name on it waiting for him in his locker.
There are also lots of Shakespeare references in a new novel called
_Defiance_ by Carol Maso (ISBN 0-525-94307-2). It's a mystery about a
woman physics professor who kills two of her male graduate students.
Unfortunately, the novel is not nearly as interesting (or funny) as its
I recently noticed some Shakespeare in two episodes (reruns) of two TV
sit-coms. In _Facts of Life_, a mentally retarded girl who is visiting
meets a boy and falls for him. She compares the two of them to Romeo
and Juliet. Her friend gets upset because, she says, the boy will break
the retarded girl's heart.
In the other one (I don't know its name), which focuses on a high school
girl named Blossom, Blossom goes on a date with a guy (a cute jock) and
sees _Much Ado About Nothing_. The rest of the family has to explain to
her brother (who everyone acknowledges is rather dumb) that the film
will not need subtitles, that Shakespeare is in English (the film's not
"foreign"). After the film, the jock guy drives Blossom to a local
student makeout place. When she rebuffs his advances (to get her in the
backseat), he hits her and she gets out of the car and runs home. She
wakes up with a shiner, and eventually tells her father. The episode
ends with her telling the guy she dated that she's going to the police
to file charges (after he threatens her to compel her silence). There's
a brief epilogue with the actress playing Blossom advising girls to tell
someone if they have been the victims of physical abuse. Blossom does
not equal Hero.