Joss Whedon’s (The Avengers, Buffy) low-budget contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, filmed in black and white over a couple of weekends. Stars Whedon regulars Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz and Clark Gregg.
Leonato (Gregg), the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro (Diamond) who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John. Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick and Claudio (Denisof and Kranz). While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato’s daughter Hero, while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice (Acker), the governor’s niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange a marriage.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies Conrade and Borachio, plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins. A series of comic and tragic events continue to keep the two couples from truly finding happiness, but then again perhaps love may prevail.