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Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.22%
Worth A Look: 9.72%
Average: 22.22%
Pretty Bad25%
Total Crap: 20.83%

5 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Kate and Leopold
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Bad timing"
2 stars

Kate and Leopold is a soggy and soulless time-travel romance. It has the depth and sincerity of a Hallmark card.

Stuart (Liev Schrieber) is an inventor who travels to 1876 New York through a “crack in the fabric of time” (yes, really). He arrives at the construction site of the Brooklyn Bridge, in time to hear the chief engineer declare it his “greatest erection” (chortle, chortle). Stuart’s miniature camera and carelessly anachronistic clothing catch the eye of Leopold (Hugh Jackman), the third Duke of Albany. Leopold follows Stuart back to modern New York where he meets and falls in love with Stuart’s ex-girlfriend, Kate (Meg Ryan), who conveniently lives downstairs.

Leopold is a fantasy hero straight out of a romance novel. A man’s man who commandeers a horse to thwart a Central Park mugging, Leopold is also sensitive enough to prepare an intimate candlelit dinner for Kate. Jackman cuts a dashing figure, and contributes a solid performance in an uncomplicated role.

Ryan personifies the film’s anti-feminist sting. Her Kate is cranky and petulant and focused on her career in market research to the point of obsession. Her priorities are so muddled she can’t even cook a meal, so it’s no surprise that she cries helplessly when Leopold prepares breakfast for her. A small dose of Victorian chivalry is enough for Kate to contemplate abandoning her career and independence altogether. Ryan’s daffiness and abrasiveness make for a charmless heroine. By contrast, Breckin Meyer brings a winning goofiness to the film as Kate’s brother.

James Mangold’s direction fails to make even remotely funny or plausible an episode where Stuart is rushed to hospital after an accident and mistakenly transferred to the psychiatric ward. I think this sequence is supposed to be comedic, but the tone is off, and I sat there cringing in horror instead. Nor does the script, by Mangold (Girl, Interrupted) and Steven Rogers (Hope Floats, Stepmom), convincingly explain the time travel elements of the story. We’re expected to believe that Stuart finds a portal through time to 1876 (and back) after studying theories of weather prediction.

The script is riddled with sloppy historical errors. We’re told that Leopold eventually invents the elevator, no doubt inspired by his trip to the future. It’s even implied that the elevator trademark “Otis” derives from his butler’s name. Never mind that Elisha G Otis was an American inventor who patented a version of the elevator in 1861, 15 years earlier. Or that the real Duke of Albany that inspired the title character, Leopold George Duncan Albert Wettin, was only 23 in 1876 (the producers must have worried this was too young for Ryan, who’s 40). And La Boheme, of which Leopold has an intimate knowledge, premiered in 1896 - a full 20 years in his future. I accept this is a romantic fairytale, but how seriously can we take a film that preaches a return to sincerity and integrity but is so contemptuous of historical accuracy?

Kate and Leopold is completely lacking in wit, logic, surprise or truth. Don’t be fooled by its references to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s a vain attempt at quality-by-association. The filmmakers should be sued for misleading conduct.

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originally posted: 03/13/02 08:05:44
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User Comments

2/09/17 Suzanne Meg's haircut was distracting; Hugh was a dreamboat 4 stars
12/22/11 Dr.Lao Girly porn about how wonderful men were in the age when women were considered property 1 stars
7/11/08 Rio A damn fine example of how annoying chivalry can get. But at least Breckin Meyer was in it. 1 stars
2/16/08 David Cohen I don't think I was the target audience of this empty headed drivel 1 stars
12/20/06 William Goss A surprisingly amiable, if tidy, time-travel rom-com. Director's cut is more interesting. 3 stars
2/09/06 sweetgrrl1972 Uptight, unlikable women meets rude, effeminate man. Creepy incest implied with ex 1 stars
12/08/04 Stephanie Pennell IT is a sweet movie 5 stars
10/26/04 Aaron Smith Compare Jackman's performance here with his Wolverine in X-Men. 4 stars
10/24/04 R.W. Welch Time as a pretzel...interesting notion. Okay fantasy romance tho a little uneven. 3 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Passable, hardly exceptional 3 stars
5/09/04 Cynic How can a man from 1876 see an opera (La Boheme) which was first written in 1896? 1 stars
5/03/04 Elizabeth There are mistakes in every movie. I've seen muchworse but excludingthe mistakes it's great 5 stars
3/30/04 Faustus It's all about Jackman- just skip the Meg Ryan solo scenes, and it's almost watchable. 2 stars
11/06/03 Monster W. Kung Eeeh... it's ok. Not too painful is right. 3 stars
8/14/03 Panda Regardless of the bad facts, its a good getaway from life 4 stars
7/25/03 Shadaan Feleli What a waste of a gorgeous cast ! 2 stars
5/30/03 Kelli Shit, shit, and more shit 1 stars
5/10/03 JL Hugh is sexy, Meg needs to go away. Or pick diffrent roles some of the time. 3 stars
2/25/03 jhelum excellent movie it makes u dream when dreams are almost unaffordable 4 stars
1/08/03 tina crap 2 stars
7/30/02 Kyle As far as chick flicks go, you could do worse. 2 stars
7/05/02 KMG #1 Hugh must ALWAYS take his shirt off, #2 Meg must never act again 2 stars
6/18/02 Roy Smith Wolverine saves it, Ryan has lost it. Not too painful. 3 stars
6/15/02 natasha some genuine laughs, Hugh Jackman deserves better material 4 stars
6/12/02 hilary awesome 5 stars
6/02/02 Chris the greatest romance of the year. Rare is a film that teaches us how to love and be in love 5 stars
5/23/02 Veronica Foxx Meg needs 2 pry her mop head out of her own ass & realize she sucks. Find a new role 4 once 2 stars
5/19/02 sybille lovely - though not for the brain, definitely for the heart! 4 stars
4/28/02 Danielle H it rocked 5 stars
3/26/02 susan coon its a great movie 5 stars
3/15/02 Christine Mendoza Meg, Hugh and Breckin are GREAT! Loved the Movie! 5 stars
1/31/02 The Queene of Romance NEWSBREAK: PRINCE CHARMING FOUND: Hugh Jackman in "Kate & Leopold" 5 stars
1/24/02 Dan Hogan Jackman was good, Ryan below par, movie was uneven. Below average chic flic. 3 stars
1/08/02 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Meg Ryan needs to call Helen Hunt for advice on how to be a successful mediocre actress! 1 stars
1/05/02 Suzz light entertainment; Ryan needs to find a new role to play 3 stars
1/04/02 KMG Meg is a hosebag...stupid bitch! I wanna fuck Hugh's dick 'tween my tits 3 stars
1/04/02 Matt Utt Kate and Leopold are the names of my illegitimate children. I pack fudge with Joe Stark 5 stars
12/31/01 poetchuck Like Meg Ryan -- like this movie 5 stars
12/27/01 Todd My girlfriend likes this movie, so now I have to dump her. This movie is donkey shit. 1 stars
12/27/01 Morpheous WHY GOD! WHY! WHO GREENLIGHTS THIS CRAP! 1 stars
12/26/01 Raiven dumb, formulaic, sloppy, predictable: I hate myself for liking it 4 stars
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  25-Dec-2001 (PG-13)



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