‘Shakespeare is so useless,’ complains pre-med scholar Paige Morgan in what may qualify as an in-joke, given that she’s played by the first lady of the Shakespeare update. Here Julia Stiles leads what is essentially an adaptation of Will’s 148th sonnet, which Paige reads in her college literature pre-req: ‘O cunning Love! With tears thou keep’st me blind/Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.’ Go-getter Paige finds plenty of foul faults in Eddie (Luke Mably), a preening metrosexual newcomer to the University of Wisconsin, but not only does he prove himself an ace Bardic tutor, he happens to be Danish royalty (like the protagonist of a certain Shakespeare play whom Paige describes as ‘a total loser’) gone AWOL from his official duties for the frolics of the American collegiate heartland. Coolidge’s movie is a feminist-leaning fairy-tale refreshingly centred on a driven young woman in no need of rescue from any dungeon or drudgery, and Stiles confidently embodies a resourceful workaholic who, for the first time in her life, finds her ambitions in conflict with her emotions.
Cast and crew