Given how much Shakespeare I haven’t seen, it’s comical how much Romeo and Juliet I have seen. At Shakespeare’s R&J, so many moments from other Romeo and Juliets crept into my head:
Paris is always Paul Rudd
I found myself falling into the Paul Rudd/Clare Danes party scene in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo & Juliet as Paris chases Juliet at the Capulet’s party. I’m pretty sure that, in my head, Paris will never not be Paul Rudd.
On a similar theme:
Balthasar is always Jesse Bradford
Remember Romeo’s adorable sidekick with exactly one EXTREMELY IMPORTANT JOB, which he manages to mess up? Yeah, he was the guy who was supposed to tell Romeo that Juliet was only fake-dead, but he didn’t get the message, and it ended up like this:
Anyway, my high school friend LOVED JESSE BRADFORD, so his few cameos were a big deal. Because of this, Balthasar is way more important than most characters in Romeo and Juliet (at least in my world).
He kill your brother
It’s hard to survive the post-Tybalt death time without a small mental homage to West Side Story. Really “Tybalt’s dead and Romeo banished!” does that to me.
Ben Affleck as the most affected Mercutio
Depending on how much swagger Mercutio has, he occasionally reminds me of Shakespeare in Love, when Ben Affleck’s character gets assigned the role of Mercutio, under the guise that Mercutio is the most important character. Oh Mercutio. You plot device, you.
Puns kill me
The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works has forever changed my hearing of “call me but love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet”… Butt-love! Butt-love! In the height of one of the most romantic moments in the play, I struggled to stifle a giggle.
Scenic, but Cynic in the light
The romantic nights followed by the harsh realities of the day just make me want to say “This plum is TOO RIPE.”
For reference, I don’t have a Romeo
As much as I have a Balthasar and a Mercutio, I don’t have a particular actor I think of when presented with Romeo. Leonardo DiCaprio is really Titanic for me. And you can’t be Romeo and die on a transatlantic crossing in 1912.