This made-for-cable movie followed the unholy troika of revisionist Romeo and Juliet adaptations that appeared in 1996-97 (e.g., Baz Luhrman's teeny-bopper version; the farce LOVE IS ALL THERE IS; and TROMEO AND JULIET). A mildly diverting revamp, RONNIE & JULIE depicts the famous lovers
as overachieving teens. Gang rumbles, poison, and suicide are out; what remains is fishy Shakespeare with all the poetry and tragedy gutted out.
High school hockey star Ronnie Monroe (Joshua Jackson) splits his time off the ice between helping to run the understaffed mayoral campaign of his mom, Elizabeth (Teri Garr), and defending his cousin, Marty (Billy O'Sullivan), from bullies like Tim Cappell (Brad Payne). Tim's father, Arthur
Cappell (Tom Butler), who is Elizabeth's well-heeled political rival, has a lovely adolescent daughter, Julie (Margot Finley), an ice-skating champion. Unfortunately for the feuding families, Ronnie and Julie fall in love at one of their parents' press conferences.
Unbeknownst to the young lovebirds, Julie's bratty sister, Willa (Alexandra Purvis), records one of their dates with a video camera. The course of true love hits a rough patch when Arthur hires a spy, Paul Reese (Jade Pawluk), to infiltrate Elizabeth's campaign headquarters. Jealous Paul not only
sabotages Elizabeth's bid for mayor, but also takes it upon himself to alter mash notes passed between Ronnie and Julie. The teens' parents are appalled when Willa's home video winds up as the property of a local TV station, which broadcasts it. Despite parental disapproval, Ronnie and Julie
remain steadfast until Paul spreads lies about Ronnie being unfaithful to Julie. When Ronnie unmasks the treachery of his alleged friend Paul at Elizabeth's headquarters, Ronnie and Julie renew their relationship. Now, their chastened parents grant their permission for the relationship, in spite
of their own differences.
Yep, it's good ole Shakespeare, but without all that pesky moonlit passion and life-and-death exigency. Reducing the Bard's classic to the level of an afterschool special, the mediocre RONNIE & JULIE serves as an adolescent advocacy drama pleading the cause of high school honor students deprived
of freedom of dating. Aside from self-pitying teens, there does not seem to be much of an audience for this insipid tale of good kids sublimating their forbidden longing with their respective on-the-ice specialties. Overall, the production is decently mounted and pretty looking, but it seems to
have misplaced its raison d'etre. It's like a genteel prom party with a Shakespearean theme. (Violence, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: PG
- Review: This made-for-cable movie followed the unholy troika of revisionist Romeo and Juliet adaptations that appeared in 1996-97 (e.g., Baz Luhrman's teeny-bopper version; the farce LOVE IS ALL THERE IS; and TROMEO AND JULIET). A mildly diverting revamp, RONNIE &… (more)