Pardon me if this seems overlong: this was written for my Literary Criticism class and the teacher wanted a 5-page report. It seemed a shame to just throw it away after submitting it, so here it is.
Speaking strictly from an average moviegoer's perspective, without any pretensions to critical analysis, "Shakespeare in Love" has all the hallmarks of a hit movie. It has everything going in its favor. First, there's the talented cast garnished with some well-known names (with Gwyneth Paltrow and Geoffrey Rush coming fresh from other acclaimed films, and of course, Ben Affleck, then at the height of his popularity). Then, there's the love story peppered with moments of comedy and drama; and light romantic comedy, more often than not, is the formula for a Hollywood hit. As the character of Henslowe insists: "It's a comedy they want."
The complete essay has been moved to https://dom.cimafranca.com/2017/12/27/an-analysis-of-shakespeare-in-love/.