Saturday 23 April 2011

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Movie and TV Mistress here again with another film review.

This time reviewing a Romantic Comedy with time travel elements staring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman, yes that’s right Wolverine romancing Meg Ryan; if he gets his shirt off what woman could resist.

This is a film which I and many people I know have found and enjoyed on DVD, I don't even remember this coming out at cinemas.

This movie is a romantic time travel story. Leopold is the Duke of Albany in 1876, while Kate is a modern 2001 girl working in market research. Kate's Ex Boyfriend Stuart, who is also a descendant of Leopold, has time travelled back to 1876 and is played by Liev Schreiber; yet again Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber are related.

The movie starts in 1876 at the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge and we have the reason my brother liked this film, the man opening the bridge refers to the structure as an erection and not just once this is a joke repeated throughout the film. So Leopold is their drawing the bridge and he notices Stuart because he is laughing at the word erection and is not used to the old camera flashes so Leo follows Stuart but looses him then goes home to prepare for a party where he has to choose his wife and Stuart turns up there, so Leo chases him back to the bridge and they both fall off the top and they are both brought forward in time to 2001, then we have your classic romantic Meg Ryan film.

The classic formula of romcom's, boy and girl meet they hate each other, they become friends fall in love, then are separated and find each other in the last moments of the film, there is no real deviation from that and if you were paying close attention at the start of the film you will know what happens at the end.

At the first introduction of Meg Ryan at the start of this movie they take a direct jab at her, let me explain. Meg Ryan was married to Dennis Quaid since the 80's and in 2000 the movie Proof Of Life was released with her and Russell Crowe, whom she had an affair with on set, Dennis and Meg divorced, which lead to the public no longer liking her; this may also explain why this did not get a big release like many of Meg's earlier romcom's. Meg Ryan's character and Market research team are doing a preview screening of a bad romcom, she is talking with her team about the actress and they claim she is unlikeable, this is when the actual director James Mangold interjects and says directly to Meg “What you haven't made a mistake in your life you have no flaws, you never slept with the wrong guy?” to which she replies “I'm not the protagonist in a major motion picture.” This is actually an added scene that is only available in the directors cut.

So Kate is a hard business woman who has become cynical about love, while her assistant is all about romance; there is not much to say about her character, its a tested and true character for a romcom.

Hugh Jackman on the other hand shows his sensitive side which is not often shown in films like X-Men and Van Helsing, we see him with a classic British accent and wearing a sort of Mr Darcy outfit for most of the movie, He is romantic and a perfect gentleman what any woman would fall in love with. Leopold is a Duke who does his duty even though he wants to just be an inventor and is amazed by the many new inventions of his time and present day, There are some running jokes in the film such as, such as he is the inventor of the Elevator and named it after his butler Otis and when he is not in the past to invent them they all disappear in 2001.

So they meet because Stuart is Kate’s ex boyfriend who lives in the apartment above her and she still has issues with Stuart, but he is quickly removed from the scene by him falling down an elevator shaft and being sent to hospital and then the mental ward because he claims to be able to time travel by jumping off the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. So as I stated before the film follows the classic arc of a Romcom and ends with Kate taking a leap off the bridge to be with Leopold in 1876.

The movie ignores the fact that Kate dated Stuart who is her own descendant and like Back to the Future the incest story is forgotten because it's time travel and we don't see anything actually happen between Stuart and Kate.

This movie is a well written film with well written characters, including the supporting characters like Breckin Meyer playing Kate’s Brother, also the time travel element makes more sense, then in the film Somewhere In Time. Meg Ryan has done so many of this type of movie, that there is nothing new for her to bring to it, that does not mean she is bad in it, both her and Hugh have a great chemistry and the movie works well, it's a funny romcom just for Hugh Jackman's performance; which is why if you haven't seen it I recommend that you check it out.