Today marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, on what some historians believe to have been his 52nd birthday, so HBD Shakespeare! And also... sorry. : (
To commemorate this occasion, we are surveying all of the other times Shakespeare died, namely, when his immortal works were used as the basis for tween motocross epics, rave sagas and hip-hoperas in the teen movies of the eighties, nineties and beyond. Of course, there were some treasures in this period of outlandish reboots, and we've ranked them for thine pleasure below. Andrew Keegan is in three of them.
10. Rome and Jewel, 2006
Based On: duh
A hip-hopera set in LA, tackling the doomed love affair between a boy from Compton and a girl from Beverly Hills. It has a reported box office take of $470. Dark.
9. Motocrossed, 2001
Based on: Twelfth Night
Like all teens, Andrea loves motocross. But her dad thinks it ain't ladylike to for a girl to ride a motorcycle! When her brother dislocates his knees (ok), her mom helps her dress up like a dude to prove dad wrong and win the big tournament. And she totally shreds, or whatever you call it when you are 'crossin. The only trailer for this Disney Channel Original movie is in straight up Russian, so please enjoy the not-at-all thrilling climax of this film!
8. A Midsummer Night's Rave, 2002
Based On: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Would Shakespeare have worn kandi? This film is at number 8, because I did not know of its existence until I started compiling this list but it might actually be the best one? We don't know, we CAN'T know, because the only plot details wikipedia will divulge is that it is "set in a rave, rather than a forest, as in the original." What we do know is that Andrew Keegan is in it!
7. Just One Of The Guys, 1985
Based on: Twelfth Night
Plot: Terry worries that she lost her high school journalism award and missed out on her dream newspaper internship because she was too hot to be taken seriously by her teachers, which, gross. SO while her parents go on vacation, she enrolls in her rival high school disguised as a man "to prove to the men in her life that she has a brain." A gender bending love quadrangle ensues, many creepy things are said, and after she's exposed as being a woman, she goes back to her school to turn her experience into solid gold high school journalism. Cool, I guess!
6. Get Over It, 2001
Based on: A Midsummer Night's Dream
This movie is a hot hot mess, but if you have the right amount of white wine and a mean enough friend by your side, you will be entertained. Ben Foster's long term girlfriend dumps him for Shane West, an English transfer student who was once in a boy band (lol, whatever you say). To win her back (with the help of his best friends Colin Hanks and Sisqo), he joins the school musical adaptation of a Midsummer Night's Dream. Kirsten Dunst, a serious, deeply talented singer/songwriter, coaches Ben Foster through the process and they fall in love. For a movie that has Kirsten Dunst, Zoe Saldana and Mila Kunis in it, they really spend a perplexing amount of time focusing on Martin Short.
5. O, 2001
Based on: Othello
Phew, let's all just take a moment to appreciate the fact that nu-metal isn't a thing anymore. Ok, this is a v. serious, v. edgy retelling of Othello set in high school, where the main character becomes 'Odin' (much more realistic name), a high school basketball star with a coke problem. There's a lot of messages here about violence, and it's not very fun to watch BUT it's better than bad. And Andrew Keegan's in it!
4. Valley Girl, 1983
Based on: Romeo and Juliet
Plot: A Hollywood boy falls for a girl from the Valley. This version took out all of the death, swapped Shakespearean English for val-speak, and added a killer new wave soundtrack. In the party scene where the two lovers meet, people are eating sushi with peanut butter on it, but aside from that disturbing fact, this movie is 80s perfection.
3. She's the Man, 2006
Based On: Just One of the Guys, Twelfth Night
Plot: Amanda Bynes pretends to be her brother in order to play on his high school's soccer team, and she ends up falling in love with her roomie (bb Channing Tatum, looking hot and thumblike). But BB Channing loves another girl, who of course loves Amanda Bynes in drag. This movie is actually really well written and fun, and it disbands with all of the creepy homophobia and outright sexism of Just One of the Guys. And Amanda Bynes is amazing in it. Come back to us, Amanda!
2. Romeo + Juliet, 1996
Based On: duh
Plot: Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet set in Venice Beach (ok, VERONA Beach, we get it), with gangs and guns and Hawaiian shirts and ecstasy and Garbage throbbing in the background. The art direction is on point, but the most important component of this remake is the angel baby faces of baby Leo and baby Claire Danes. Plus, the on-screen debut of Claire Danes' cry face.
1. Ten Things I Hate About You, 1999
Based On: The Taming of the Shrew
Plot: The absolute gold standard of teen Shakespeare. In order for cute lil Joseph Gordon-Levitt to be able to ask out the most popular girl in school, Alex Mack, he has to find a date for her badass feminist sister Juila Stiles, who is obsessed with going to Sarah Lawrence and listening to female-driven alt-rock. So he pays curly-maned bad boy Heath Ledger to romance Kat and SURPRISE they fall in love! And SURPRISE he got Letters to Cleo to play at her prom! And SURPRISE Andrew Keegan is also in this! And SURPRISE you're in your late twenties weeping softly.