Trying out something a little different today. Maybe this will be a trend and I’ll have to make a new category. Anyway, without further ado, I present “Romeo and Juliet,”
or, “Never was there a tale of more pointless woe than that of moron Juliet and her idiot Romeo.”
Crier – The story takes place in Verona, and the Capulets and Montagues hate each other. Okay, moving on now.
Nurse – Juliet, I really think you should marry that nice Count Paris. He’s rich, he’s nice, and he’s not old enough to be your father.
Juliet – Those are all good points in his favor, but I’m waiting for my true love.
Nurse – *sighs* Teenagers…
Benvolio – Dude, this is stupid! The Capulets hate us! We are so in trouble if we get caught crashing their party!
Romeo – But I must see my true love Rosaline!
Benvolio – Fine, she’s over there, now can we go? Romeo? Hey, what’s wrong with you?
Romeo – –staring at Juliet– I must see my true love!
Benvolio – That’s not Rosaline. That’s Juliet.
Romeo – Yes, my true love Juliet.
Benvolio – Dude, seriously? Fine, whatever. I am out of here.
The Balcony Scene:
Romeo – Juliet, you’re so hot and I love you!
Juliet – Strange men wandering around my bedroom is so sexy and no way stalkerish. Hey, aren’t you a Montague?
Romeo – Um, yes, but that doesn’t matter because I love you!
Juliet – So that means you’re a bad boy because you’re rebelling against your family, right?
Romeo – Um, yes?
Juliet – Good girls can’t resist bad boys. Come on up. But I can’t go all the way.
Romeo – Well, I’ll take what I can get.
Juliet – Hey, fornication is a sin, but consummation isn’t.
Romeo – Oh, okay, I see what you’re getting at. Well, even though I just met you and don’t know anything about you besides the fact you’re totally hot, I think I love you enough to ask you to marry me. Will you?
Juliet – Yes!
Benvolio – Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?
Romeo – I can never be with my true love.
Benvolio – Rosaline?
Romeo – Who’s Rosaline? I’m talking about Juliet.
Benvolio – That girl you met last night?
Romeo – *sigh*
Friar Laurence – You can tell me what’s making you so brooding and angsty, besides being fifteen of course.
Romeo – I’m in love with Juliet Capulet and she’s in love with me.
Laurence – Really? That’s great! I believe in the love of you krazy kids so much I’ll even secretly marry you two. Maybe this will finally bring your families together.
Romeo – And you’re supposed to be the mature adult in this play? That’s a stupid plan!
Laurence – Do you want the girl or not?
Romeo – Secret marriage it is.
–Friar Laurence marries them the next day–
The Mean Streets of Verona:
Tybalt – Hey, dirtbag!
Romeo – What?
Mercutio – I’m pretty sure he’s talking to you, genius. I think he figured out you crashed the Capulet ball.
Tybalt – Party nothing! That low-life was skulking around my cousin Juliet’s room!
Mercutio – How do you know that unless you were also skulking around your cousin’s room?
Tybalt – Shut up! That doesn’t matter! Anyway, I’m challenging Peeping Montague here to a duel!
Romeo – Er, listen, Tybalt, this really isn’t a good time. I mean, I know you think we’re enemies and all, but if it turned out we were actually kinsmen, then wouldn’t this be so embarrassing?
Tybalt/Mercutio – What the hell are you talking about?
Romeo – I’m just saying that maybe we aren’t so different and maybe a fight in the street isn’t going to turn out the way you think, that’s all.
Mercutio – What the hell is wrong with you? Tybalt, I’ll duel with you. Let’s get this over with!
Tybalt – Have at thee!
Romeo – Guys! Guuuyyys, break it up. Come on, guys, be nice…
–Romeo’s attempts to break up the fight allow Tybalt to fatally stab Mercutio–
Mercutio – Romeo you idiot.
Tybalt – Ha! Ha! I see you backing off there. I totally won!
Romeo – See, we didn’t need to fight.
Mercutio – Oh, I agree with that. Hey, Tybalt, before you do your victory dance, do you think maybe your sword has something on it?
Tybalt – What? Ohhh… is-is that… blood? I am so in trouble.
Mercutio – You? What about me?
Romeo – I am really confused.
Tybalt – I have a thing. I have to go. Laters! –runs away–
Romeo – See? All’s well that end’s well.
Mercutio – That’s a different play, you moron. –dies–
Romeo – Mercutio? Mercutio? He’s dead! Tybalt killed him! –chases down Tybalt– I will have revenge!
Tybalt – That’s not necessary!
Romeo – Dude, you started this! I didn’t want to fight!
Tybalt – So don’t!
Romeo – My name is Romeo Montague! You killed my friend! Prepare to die! –stabs him–
Prince of Verona – Enough of this! Romeo, you are banished from Verona and if you come back, you get killed! Got it?
Romeo – Sex or death, the age old question. And for a fifteen year old boy who just got married, there’s only one answer, right Juliet?
Juliet – Tee hee.
Romeo – Of course, now I must go into exile and can never see you again.
Juliet – Well, that just killed the mood.
Romeo – Sorry, babe.
Capulet Household, Later:
Papa Capulet – Juliet, I see you look so sad over your cousin’s death.
Juliet – What? Oh, yeah, that guy. Oh, woe is me. Boo hoo.
Papa Capulet – So what better way to cheer you up than marry you off to Count Paris immediately?
Juliet – Um, what? No. I mean, not right now. I mean, boo hoo.
Papa Capulet – You will marry that rich, important cousin of the Prince or so help me I will disown you young lady.
Juliet – Gee, thanks Dad. You’re a real model parent. Mom, come on, I don’t want to marry Paris. Can you at least put off the wedding? I mean, aren’t we still grieving over whats-his-name?
Mama Capulet – Nope, you’ll do what your father says.
Juliet – Friar Laurence, you’ve got to help me! My parents are marrying me off to Count Paris!
Laurence – Well, that’s to be expected, I’m afraid, but don’t panic. We’ve got at least a month while they put down the deposits and finalize the guest lists and of course give all the guests time to arrive…
Juliet – The wedding is in three days.
Laurence – What the hell? I mean, heck. Well, I guess a lack of time is the only logical explanation for this shoddy and ill-thought out plan I come up with. I’ll get you a drug so you can pretend you’re dead, assume your family will bury you within a day, and get a message to Romeo to come rescue you from the crypt before you actually die from lack of air or starvation.
Juliet – That’s a terrible plan! But I’m thirteen and out of options, except, you know, getting over that guy I’ve known for like a week and marrying the Count. I mean, you’re the only one who knows we got married so it should be easy to ignore it or annul it. But no, Romeo is my true love so I will go along with this stupid, stupid plan.
–Things go mostly according to plan in that Juliet takes the drug, is pronounced dead, and buried within the day; unfortunately, Laurence’s messenger never got the message to Romeo, who thinks Juliet is actually dead–
Romeo – Oh, woe! Woe woe! My true love is dead, and with this vial of poison I shall join her in eternity, instead of getting over this girl I’ve only known for like a week like I got over that last girl, whats-her-name…starts with an “R” maybe? Anyway, I will never love again!
Paris – Hey, you! What are you doing here?
Romeo – Um, nothing!
Paris – Vandal! Graverobber! Have at thee!
Romeo – What? No, damn it! –they fight and Romeo kills Paris– Well, if I hadn’t been exiled already, that would do it. Woe, I have nothing to live for. Bottoms up! –drinks poison and dies–
Juliet – Oh, what a headache… Hey, Romeo, you came for me! Why is Paris dead on the floor? Romeo? Romeo? Oh, no, he’s dead! He must not have gotten the message that I wasn’t actually dead! Life is not worth living without the man I love, and Paris is dead too so I have no back-up marriage plan. Damn, the poison is empty. Well, I guess I’ll just do this the painful way. –stabs herself and dies–
Prince of Verona – I told you Count Paris was mourning privately… –sees the carnage– What the hell happened?
Friar Laurence – I, um, can explain… –does so–
Prince of Verona – You idiot! You thundering idiot!
Papa Capulet – Our beloved children are dead because of our foolish fighting.
Prince of Verona – No they’re not! They’re dead because they’re stupid teenagers!
Papa Montague – Well, anyway, we’d like to stop the feud now.
Prince of Verona – Oh, well, great. That’s great. Good, I’m glad there’s a silver lining to this whole mess. Now, let’s get everyone buried in the correct crypt.
Obviously, I hate this story. I’ve made that clear before, but I thought this kind of synopsis would highlight the stupidity. Yes, I know, Romeo and Juliet were probably treated as full adults within their society, but if their behavior is barely excusable as two stupid kids, it is absolutely inexcusable as two fully mature adults. I find this story hard to take seriously because except for the deaths this is rom-com gold. Two krazy kids who love each other after knowing each for three minutes sneaking around their parents to see each other and it ends with this crazy “pretend we’re dead” scheme. That’s some wacky hijinks. In the rom-com version, no one would have died, obviously, and once the parents saw how true Romeo and Juliet’s love is, they’d be allowed to get married anyway, and then the movie would end with everyone having a good belly laugh as Friar Laurence explains they already are married. Frankly, I think I would like this story much better if it were actually a comedy. But it’s not. Everyone dies and I’m not the least bit sorry.