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Kate and Leopold (A Movie Review)

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Kate & Leopold


Starring Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Breckin Meyer, Natasha Lyonne, Bradley Whitford, Philip Bosco, Paxton Whitehead, Spalding Gray, Josh Stamberg, Matthew Sussman and Charlotte Ayanna.

Screenplay by James Mangold and Steven Rogers.

Directed by James Mangold.

Distributed by Miramax Pictures. 118 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

Here is a hint for movie producers. It is almost impossible to make an uninteresting time travel film. No matter if it is a thriller (The Terminator), or a romance (Somewhere in Time) or both (Time After Time), it is just a nearly foolproof plotline. Kate & Leopold is further proof of that theory.

The film is a romantic comedy that should not by all rights be as light on its feet and charming as it is. Meg Ryan plays an embittered ad exec (with a truly awful hairdo) that has lost patience with men, from her old boyfriend with commitment issues (Liev Schreiber) to her slacker brother (Breckin Meyer) to her slimy boss (Bradley Whitfield.)

When the old boyfriend finds the ability to go back in time, he mistakenly brings back a handsome young Duke (a totally mesmerizing Hugh Jackman) whose fish-out-of-water chivalry, suave intelligence and incredible looks change all the people he meets in this strange new world, particularly melting Ryan’s frozen cynicism.

The storyline and cast are totally charming, and even if the moral is a little archaic… that a beautiful professional woman would give up her life and career for the first gorgeous Duke she meets… the love story is enchanting, and we do buy it on a happy-ever-after fairytale level. That’s all the aspirations that Kate & Leopold wants or needs. (1/02)

Sabrina Stevens

Copyright ©2002 All rights reserved. Posted: November 6, 2002.

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