If you are a fan of Shakespeare, you know how Romeo and Juliet goes, maybe not word by word but event by event. And at least with this play, and this movie, I wouldn't call you fortune's fool. If you aren't, then you probably at least know Romeo and Juliet is an insta-love love story, with swords, lips, and at the brink, family rivalry at its most rivalling, until two people fall in love from opposite ends, like a Nazi falling in love with a French girl. There's actually a movie out about that, but I forget its name.
Let me just get the bad things out of the way: the kissing scenes. There of course have to be kissing scenes or else it probably wouldn't be believable that one would not want to live without the other in their arms. However, the kissing here goes to the point where it's a bit of a backfire. Some kissing scenes took to the point where I thought: ...Is this supposed to be as creepy as it is? Plus, at the end, Romeo doesn't battle with Paris like it does in the play, which probably could've been a very action packed finishing. But really, that's about it. Leonard Whiting is so believable as the ultimate lover in armour it's uncannily what people must usually see in Romeo when they read the play. And Olivia Hussey is breathtaking, never quite overreacting when there's no need to overreact. And this is the only Shakespeare film where I haven't been aggravated by the language. And by the end, it had me doing what Shakespeare intended for me to be doing. For example, instead of "This do I drink to thee", Juliet says, "Love give me strength", and doesn't give the giant speech in that area. Bonus: It's less cheesy, the love strength part was originally when Juliet receives the potion in the play, which to this day I feel was out of place in the writing, and some of the dialogue, just like A Streetcar Named Desire, is said while incredible movements are happening which could never be described in the play.
A lot of people on the internet say Olivia Hussey was the perfect Juliet, and I'm one of those people. She's lovely, innocent and her smile is contagious to the point where she doesn't seem like a spoiled brat when in the play, that's the sort of thought I had for her. Not to mention that it is actually genuinely sad; something that Shakespeare can't usually do for me; make me feel emotion.