Kate & Leopold Blu-ray Review
At first glance of the Blu-ray cover of KATE & LEOPOLD, audiences could easily be tricked into thinking they were about to take an adventure of epic proportions down an romantic comedy road.
“If they lived in the same century, they’d be perfect for each other.”
What a great tag line! This movie has time travel, Hugh Jackman dancing in period costuming and America’s sweetheart Meg Ryan! Where do I sign up?
Sadly, KATE & LEOPOLD is not as charming as this fantastic fairytale would lead you to believe. If I had to categorize it for cinematic history, I’d say it was an urban fantasy that was more annoying than endearing.
Once upon a time, in the far away land of New York circa 1876, a young man by the name of Stuart (Liev Shreiber) followed his great, great, great grandfather Leopold (Jackman) around through the confusing and unexplained scientific phenomenon known as a time portal. It just so happens that Leopold followed Stuart back home one fateful night and is stuck in present-day New York. Stuart’s upstairs neighbor Kate (who is also his ex-girlfriend played by Ryan) is determined that Stuart and Leopold are both crazy and wants nothing more than to continue down her controlled career path in hopes to land the Senior Vice President job at her marketing research firm.
Naturally Kate and Leopold fall for each other. She’s wounded and lonely and needs someone to remind her that true love does exist. He’s bored with his station in life and longs for a woman who isn’t afraid and can speak her mind. In short, they fill each other’s empty parts. But how will they survive when they don’t live in the same year?
What’s more interesting is the fact that the story committed approximately 20 minutes to Leopold’s transition into 2001. He was fascinated by the toilet, the telephone, the television and the freezer. He was mesmerized by the Brooklyn Bridge. Other than that? He completely submerged into his surroundings with aplomb.
Sure. I can play along and look beyond ridiculous circumstances. I’m a sucker for a good love story. But I have to admit that Meg Ryan completely phoned her entire performance in. I’m not sure if she was sick of being “adorable girl next door” in every movie in the 80s and 90s, but her spirit was lost on film. I found myself wishing she had a different hair cut and wondering how much collagen could fill an upper lip instead of sighing and agreeing with the sweet, lovable Meg we saw in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY or SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.
Hugh Jackman was dashing. He was made for this role and owned every second he was on the screen. If it hadn’t been for him and his oozing charm, this Blu-ray would have scored a lot lower than a four.
KATE & LEOPOLD tries really hard to be both a romance and a comedy, but fails miserably. With such an inspiring cast, it really is a shame.
Video: I thought the set was really cool. It was interesting to go from 1876 New York to 2001 New York with the same buildings and surroundings. The Brooklyn Bridge was particularly cool.
Audio: Other than the Sting song “Until” during the closing credits, the audio was indifferent.
On the Set Featurette (14:30): All of the main cast and the director take the audience through this old fashioned love story. They all explain that this is a “fish out of water” piece that was super fun to make. Jackman was adorable in his interviews. Apparently, this was one of his first movies. Ryan seemed just as bored as she was on screen.
Deleted Scenes (8:54): The deleted scenes were extremely long and unnecessary to advance the plot. There were several various shots of the same scene with different endings. None of them worked.
The Costumes (2:54): This was the director’s first period film. They put a lot of time into research and looking into what could be transitioned from 1876 to 2001. The Brooklyn Bridge scene was the most fun to shoot because it was a cross-section of society in urban New York.
Sting’s “Until” Music Video (3:11)