Romeo is supposed to be someone who is love-struck and confused but the 1998 film portrayed him as someone who had reasons for his actions. In scene 2, both films showed Paris asking Capulet or Juliet’s hand as written although the 1998 version tried to display just how wealthy the Capulets are. When the scene cuts to Benvolio telling Romeo to forget about Rosaline, the 1968 film cut that part out along with the scene where Benvolio convinces Romeo to go to Capulet’s party.
In scene 3, Lady Capulet speaks to Juliet about Paris’s marriage proposal. The 1968 film showed Lady Capulet get irritated with the nurse’s constant banter. The 1998 film doesn’t show the nurse speaking much at all in this scene. The scene didn’t show how much of a mother-figure the nurse was to Juliet. The 1968 film shows that and how much the nurse loved Juliet like a daughter. The next scene shows Romeo, Benvolio, their friend Mercutio and others going to the party. Mercutio talks to Romeo about love using the fairy Queen, Mab, s his analogy. His joke of a speech suddenly turns into something serious. Romeo calms him down and Mercutio admits that his speech meant nothing. Both films portrayed Mercutio as someone to follow and respect. But in the 1998 film, Mercutio’s character is a drag queen while the 1968 film portrayed Mercutio’s character as a regular man. When Romeo was left to decide whether love was a beautiful thing or not, the 1998 film used a drug for him to make his decision. The 1968 version did not. Scene 5 is where Romeo and Juliet finally meet.
The part where Romeo spots Juliet dancing, he sees her dancing with Paris in the 1998 film. The 1968 film shows her dancing with a crowd of people. After their kiss, the 1998 film shows Lady Capulet and Paris looking for Juliet. They try and evade them but the nurse comes for her. In the 1968 film, the nurse goes looking for Juliet herself for Lady Capulet. Instead of running away, Juliet tells Romeo to hide. Shortly afterwards, the two lovers discover that they are supposed to be sworn enemies. In both films, Romeo and Juliet are equally horrified.