Retro Review: Kate & Leopold

Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman star in a romantic-comedy with a science-fiction twist. They star as star-crossed lovers who are separated by a hundred years.

Kate McKay (Ryan) is a 21st century marketing executive who has become lost in the shuffle of corporate America. Reluctant to love again, Kate lives with her younger brother Charlie (Breckin Meyer) and beneath her ex-lover Stuart (Liev Schrieber). Stuart is a crackpot scientist who has stumbled upon a portal that drops him into 19th Century New York.

Leopold (Jackman), the Third Duke of Albany, is an enduring and troubled 19th century bachelor. Leopold notices Stuart within a crowd. He notices he is holding a rather strange device and wonders who this mysterious stranger is. He chases Stuart back through the portal and ends up in 21st Century New York.

How will these separated lovers find each other through a twisted turn of events? When they do find each other which time period will they call home? More importantly are these two people able to love again?

Kate & Leopold starts off as a delightful romantic-science fiction tale but gets way too carried away with plots and details. The film runs over 30 minutes to long and maybe could have been more interesting if one or two characters were severed from the cast. They could have merged the ex-lover and brother creating an eccentric scientist brother who stumbles upon a portal. With there being so many characters that is probably why the running time is so insane for a film of this caliber. I mean it takes time to follow each of these people.

Kate & Leopold has a lot in common with another time-traveling comedy called Just Visiting but it is far superior on a lot of levels. First it’s more mature, enduring and oozes with charisma in the film’s leads. This film is for the adults and Visiting was for the kids.

I loved Meg Ryan’s return to comedy. It has always been her staple and she is magical in romantic films. I also was quite impressed with Hugh Jackman. He continues to keep showing he is Hollywood leading man material through and through. His chemistry with Ryan also makes for an interesting match-up and even though the movie has its flaws we really do want these people to fall in love.

I can’t say I loved this film but I did love the two leads. I also liked the romantic-time-machine angle but it needed to have been dealt with on a cleverer scale.

3 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Retro Review: Kate & Leopold

  1. One of the better examples of romantic comedies doing the rounds and even though it is overlong at times, it will make for passable video fodder one dreary Sunday evening.

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