Within the first 10 minutes of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing I found myself smiling with excitement, while also holding my breath in nervous anxiety. Would the film be able to sustain its confident manic tone, maintain its humor and smarts, its depth of characterization and innovative use of text and landscape? Would the magic hold? The magic holds. It holds from beginning to end.
Whedon firmly places Much Ado About Nothing in the screwball tradition where it belongs. He uses one main location (his own house), and much of it takes place in echoing high-end interiors, perfect for a story where everyone is constantly eavesdropping on everyone else. The play moves from comedy to tragedy and back with dizzying speed, and while you may feel like you’re getting whiplash, that’s the desired effect. (…) Every line shimmers with double entendre. Sex roils underneath every moment, every motivation, every misunderstanding and every rejoinder.
Watching Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof battle it out (…) is a supreme pleasure. Underneath the hostility is a coursing current of love and desire, lust and fondness, which both characters struggle mightily to hide. When they finally crack, when they finally give in, it is breath-taking and emotional.
Sheila O’Malley, Rogerebert.com