“The play's the thing,” proves Shakespeare in Love as it presents the imaginary events that lead to the creation of the playwright's timeless romantic drama, Romeo and Juliet. The setting is 1593, and Shakespeare is just another scribbling London hack suffering a bad case of writer's block on his new play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, the result is a frothy romantic comedy that is equally nourished with truisms of historic lore and modern sensibility. It's flighty, improbable stuff, meant not to be a historical restorative but a modern tribute to the scribe whose words have launched a million sonnets. Certainly, the more the viewer knows about the life and writings of Shakespeare, the richer the viewing experience will be, yet it's a love story that works on its own terms. As the lovers, Fiennes and Paltrow are an enchanting pair. The film's other performances are all terrific too. The end result is a delightful, though a smidge too long, reminder of one of the reasons we so enjoy going to the movies: perchance to dream. Read a full review of Shakespeare in Love.