Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kate & Leopold

Kate & Leopold (2001) is a mind-blowing time travel flick that you'll never figure out in your wildest dreams.

STORY IN A NUTSHELL: Stuart (Liev Schreiber) discovers a portal in time and goes back to 1876. He unintentionally brings a Duke named Leopold (Hugh Jackman) back with him to the future. Hilarity ensues.

But you won't really understand how deep it goes unless you watch the Director's Cut on the DVD. Leopold is Stuart's great-great-grandfather. And Stuart's ex-girlfriend Kate (Meg Ryan) is his great-great-grandmother.

I've seen this movie at least half a dozen times over the years and I just discovered that Stuart's shrink, Dr. Geisler (Spalding Gray) was eating Grape Nuts cereal out of the box during his discussion with Stuart, whom everyone thinks is "NUTS" because of his wild story about a portal through time.

I also connected Kate's assistant, Darci (Natasha Lyonne) with Mr. Darcy from the novel, Pride and Prejudice, one of the most well-known romances in world literature. Darci is a hopeless romantic, opposite of Kate, who is a practical tomboy without a feminine bone in her body.

So why do I like this movie?

1) I LOVE time travel flicks and trying to figure everything out. It's an exciting puzzle.

2) The question of romance in the modern era. Are the old ways of courting still valid today? From watching this movie, the answer would be YES.

3) Leopold's adventurous spirit in experiencing the "future." As an inventor and nonconformist of his own time, he is not totally freaked out by modern day technology (toaster, TV, telephone, cars, etc.). He's inquisitive and open-minded.

4) The bizarre union of a modern, corporate-climbing New Yorker and a romantic, gentlemanly Duke of the 19th century.

Some of my favorite scenes:

Leopold gives Charlie (Breckin Meyer), Kate's brother, advice in courting a lady with great success. ("Women respond to sincerity. No-one wants to be romanced by a buffoon.")

Kate and Charlie sit up and take notice when Leopold describes dining in the 19th century after eating a meal of tater tots and microwave chicken fried steak. ("Where I come from the meal is the result of reflection and study. Menus are prepared in advance, timed to perfection. It is said that without the culinary arts, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable.")

This may not be your cup of tea, but it's definitely not your typical Boy Meets Girl romance.


  1. I haven't seen this - but I remember a bit of a brouhaha over it when all of the implications of all the characters' connections sank in. From your positive reaction - they must have handled everything better/more cleverly than I was led to believe. As a time travel fan I think I have to see this now. Thanks, Luana!

  2. Craig: It will definitely make you think, but to be honest, I still haven't figured it out! A great movie, not just a chick flick.

  3. Hugh Jackman? YES SIREE! I love this movie. Great post!

  4. Reading your post I realised it's been far too long since I last watched Kate And Leopold, I'll definitely be treating myself to the Blu-ray.

    It's a film that has been criminally underrated, mainly because it got buried by the media backlash against Meg Ryan at the time of it's release.

    Hopefully the new Director's cut will help it gain some long overdue respect.