Much Ado About Nothing

1993 PG-13 1h 51m DVD

Much Ado About Nothing

1993 PG-13 1h 51m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Benedick and Beatrice are two marriage-phobic rivals in Florence, Italy, in this Shakespeare comedy whose lively plot involves complications, pranks and peerless wordplay. Hero and Claudio try to hook up the two B's despite tenacious resistance.
Kenneth Branagh, Richard Briers, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard, Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Jimmy Yuill, Imelda Staunton, Kate Beckinsale
Kenneth Branagh
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
Spanish (Neutral), English, French
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this very accessible Shakespeare adaptation gets the PG-13 rating because of a bunch of visible backsides in a jubilant bathing scene and a brief sex scene visible from afar (you'll see a few thrusts but characters are clothed). The rest of the content is pretty mild: a couple bad guys get drunk, a death is faked, and a silly guard shouts "I am an ass!" and thinks it's a compliment.

Sexual Content

Characters are clearly having sex near an open window, as seen from a courtyard; skin isn't shown, but a few thrusts are apparent. A few minutes into the film the large Italian baths are alive with activity; plenty of bare bottoms (male and female in separate baths) are visible amidst the undressing, playful splashing, and dressing. Characters shout accusations and call Hero "wanton" and that she "knows the heat of a luxurious bed." Some clothed fondling of breasts and slapping of backsides at a masked party.


The fair lady faints after accusations of infidelity, and her betrothed is told she died of grief. Hero's father pulls her hair and slaps her in a rage and Claudio pushes her. Prisoners look ill-treated by incompetent guardsman.


"Bastard." Then "ass" is shouted multiple times by a foolish guard who thinks it's a compliment.

Social Behavior

The movie starts with a poem about not taking things too seriously ("sigh not so ... and sing hey nonny nonny"), so there aren't any heavy messages to glean. Perhaps: keep a wary eye out for vengeful family members, and rumors are powerful things.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

It's set in a vineyard, so wine is a part of all the celebrations. Two characters get stumbling drunk.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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