“Romeu & Romeu”
Now that I received my own copy of “Romeu & Romeu”, I decided to have another look. The web series is a loose adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” by a group of young Brazilians who have moved the drama into contemporary times. Set in Verona, Brazil, the Campelos and Monteiros families have hated each other for generations.
Openly gay Romulo (Arthur Chermont) falls for Ramon (João Mesquita) from the family that he has been taught to hate. Ramon finds his grandfather’s diary that reveals the fact that original fight was over his gay lover a case of inherent homophobia that has been forgotten through the years.
As the story moves forward, half of the characters let us know that they are gay too, although most of them have issues about it. On the DVD, we get the first five episodes of the series and even though they are amateurish, they are also charming and fun to watch. The focus here is on Romulo and Ramon who work on acknowledging their feelings as they begin a relationship even though it must be secret and hidden from their families. Additionally, Romulu has been diagnosed Parkinson’s disease and we see how he and his family cope with it. We learn about how it is treated and its effects so, in effect, the series looks at both the lack of understanding that most people have about the disease as well as homophobia (which is not really a major issue here).
The series was co-created and co-written by its two young stars and is directed by Jonathan Mendonça. While the first episode is a bit stiff with some very mediocre, the rewards come in the ensuing episodes.