TUCSON, Ariz. — For every great love story, there are several failed love stories that led up to it.
The rom-com/Shakespearean parody "Rosaline," which debuts Friday on Hulu, mines such a failure for comedy and whimsy. In the vein of "Hamlet 2," "Rosaline" pokes fun at the famous play's tropes and strange plot twists.
Kaitlyn Dever stars as Rosaline, a woman Romeo (Kyle Allen) was dating before Juliet (Isabel Merced) caught his eye.
Screenwriters Scott Nestadter and Michael H. Weber adapted their witty, rambunctious script from the Rebecca Serle novel "When You Were Mine."
Scorned and determined, Rosaline seeks to wreck the new romance and get Romeo back for herself. Her determined attempts to derail the star-crossed lovers make for constant smiles and chuckles.
Director Karen Maine ("Yes, God, Yes") spins a lighthearted and effervescent tale. Bolstered by magnetic performances and filled with enough subtle and apparent references to satisfy an English major, the movie cleverly reduces Shakespeare's grandiose themes into funny, goofy romantic cliches.
Dever, an up-and-comer who made her bones in "Booksmart" and "Last Man Standing," blooms in the star turn, showing off a bittersweet panache that shows she's worthy of more roles like this. Allen and Merced are equally charismatic.
Minnie Driver makes a winning appearance, just as she did in last year's underrated "Cinderella."
Bursting with clever twists and charisma as it pokes fun at the Bard, "Rosaline" makes for a light, entertaining Hulu-and-chill evening in Verona.
RATING: 3 stars out of 4.
Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.