I had the pleasure of Streaming Kate & Leopold yesterday via Amazon. It is one of the most delightful movies I have ever seen. Kate & Leopold is sweet, funny, romantic and at times just plain ridiculous, but in a good way. Kate & Leopold was released on December 25, 2001 and it stars Meg Ryan, Hugh Jack the man (Jackman) Liev Schreiber and Breckin Meyer. It was directed by James Mangold. The budget was $48 million and the movie grossed $76,019,048. worldwide.
Kate & Leopold starts off in the year 1876. Johann Roebling is making a speech in front of his unfinished Brooklyn Bridge. A physicist named Stuart found a portal in time and stumbled back into the 19th century. Stuart is watching Roebling speak and is taking pictures with his digital camera.
Also listening to Roebling speak is Leopold Alexis Elijah Walker Thomas Gareth Mountbatten, Duke of Albany. Leopold spots Stuart taking photos with this camera contraption that he has never seen before.
Leopold is thought of as a failure to the monarchy by his very strict Uncle. On Leopold’s 30th birthday he is told that it is time for him to choose a bride; preferably a rich American because the family wealth has been depleted. Leopold agrees to do his duty and prepares to announce his engagement that evening. Leopold prefers not to make such a move, but he is torn by loyalty to his family.
Stuart crashes the party at Leopold’s home and starts snooping around. Leopold again spots Stuart and follows him. Stuart is caught taking photos of Leopold’s diagrams. Leopold chases him down all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge. It is the location of the temporal portal back to the 20th century. Leopold does not know that and tries to save Stuart from falling off the unfinished bridge. Stuart needs to jump off the bridge into the portal so he sprays mace into Leopold’s face. Stuart is able to get back into the time portal, but Leopold falls into it as well and enters the 21st Century.
When Leopolds comes to he is at first confused and thinks he was kidnapped until Stuart explains what happened. Leopold is amazed to see the Brooklyn Bridge completed, other inventions and the expansion of New York City.
Stuart tries to explain to his ex-girlfriend Kate that he just returned from the 19th century and that Leopold is the Duke of Albany from that time period. Kate and Stuart have a strange relationship. They were dating for 4 years before breaking up. Stuart lives in the apartment above Kate’s and she goes back and forth from her apartment to his via the fire escape.
Just a few words about Meg Ryan: I like Meg a lot, but I notice that in many of her movies she tends to play characters in the same type of quirky manner with little variation. In Kate & Leopold there is something I find weird about her hair too. It seems to be cut very unevenly all the way around and is bone straight. To me it looks like a hot mess and was not particularly complementary to her. I did not care for the clothes chosen for Meg in this movie either. Meg is very petite and does not have much in the way of breasts or hips. The clothes she wore made her look like a tomboy instead of a woman. I guess Kate is supposed to be an artsy fartsy type character, but I still think the costume department could have done better for Meg and her character. To me they made Kate seem lazy about her appearance. The black evening dress that Kate wore to have dinner with Leopold did not do anything for her either.
Meg’s lips were also looking weird. Her bottom and especially her top lips looked more enormous than I remember them to be from other movies. On the right is how they look in Kate and Leopold. On the left is how I remember them looking before, so I guess it is safe to say that Meg Ryan had surgery to enlarge her lips. To me Meg ruined her lips. Larger lips look great if they are natural and not artificially enlarged.
While Stuart is in the process of taking his dog downstairs he falls down the elevator shaft and gets hurt. When Leopold came into the 21st century, it was before he filed a patent for elevators so when the elevator door opened the shaft was empty and Stuart fell to the bottom. Leopold needs to return to his time period and file the patent. The next portal opening is in one week. Kate and Leopold do not immediately realize what happened Stuart. Kate finds the dog out in the hallway trying to pee and Kate tells Leopold that he must take the dog for a walk right away.
Not realizing that Leopold cannot be left on his own in NYC , Kate goes to work leaving him to walk the dog on his own. Leopold and the dog get into all kinds of mischief. An ambulance arrives to take Stuart off to the hospital. Stuart calls Kate to let her know that she cannot let Leopold out of the apartment but it is too late. Stuart’s cell phone is confiscated because it is not allowed in the hospital. Stuart keeps trying to tell everyone that he discovered a portal in time and needs to get back home. Of course everyone thinks Stuart is crazy and he is assigned to a psychiatrist.
While Leopold is walking the dog he gets a ticket because he refuses to pick up the dog’s poop. The cop is played by actress Viola Davis who years later would co-star in the movie “The Help”. Viola Davis is a very talented actress.
Later that evening Kate has dinner with her brother and Leopold. Kate looks like a hot mess while Leopold is dressed for dinner and comes with all the manners of the gentry. Of course Kate still does not believe Leopold is from another century, but I think that she could have treated him better. I found her to be quite rude unnecessarily. Leopold had not done anything to her and was the model dinner guest.
Leopold is very intrigued by Kate’s career woman status and tells her that he used to date a librarian when he lived in Sussex. Leopold is also drawn to Kate’s cynicism. I was puzzled by this I have to admit. Usually when you are being rude you don’t attract a men (or do you?), but Leopold was all into Kate in less than a week.
Leopold makes a quill pen and writes a beautiful letter to Kate apologizing and inviting her to have dinner with him on the rooftop that evening. Kate is being really rude and won’t answer back. I mean how silly can you get. How many men writes out a beautiful apology and then asks you to dinner? Kate’s assistant at work reads the letter and hounds Kate into accepting the invitation and replying. I wish Leopold had fallen for Kate’s office assistant instead.
Leopold does the margarine commercial, but when he tastes it he refuses to finish the shoot. The margarine tastes horrid. Leopold and Kate get into an argument. Kate believes that it is okay to be dishonest to the public in order to sell a product and make money. Leopold has more integrity than that and they part ways on bad terms.
With the help of an employee inside of the psychiatric hospital Stuart finally escapes. Leopold understands that he must return to April 28, 1876 in order to make things right in history and the elevators, so he enters the portal on the Brooklyn Bridge.
After Leopold returns to 1876, Stuart goes back to his apartment and prints out the photos he took when he was in the 19th century. Kate’s brother discovers something in the photos that is very significant. If you want to know what that is you will have to see the movie.
Kate must enter the portal to 1876 or else history will be altered. Her brother and Stuart help her to get to the Brooklyn Bridge in time. I loved Kate’s goodbye to her brother. It brought tears to my eyes.
Overall I really enjoyed Kate & Leopold. The storyline is a very a interesting one and quite funny. Hugh Jackman is so completely charming as Leopold. I loved his seriousness and yet he could lighten up to be romantic and romance the woman he loves. I could not help but think of Richard Armitage in this role. Richard can do projects like this and I do hope that he will expand his range of acting roles. So far I have watched three Hugh Jackman movies and every one had characters that were not similar to one another and the genres were different. This is a great display of Jackman’s talent as an actor.