Kate & Leopold

Year: 2002
Production Co: Konrad Pictures
Studio: Miramax
Director: James Mangold
Writer: James Mangold/Steven Rogers
Cast: Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Breckin Meyer

Cute, sugary and twee fantasy love story/chick movie that Miramax green-lit seemingly to spend a few spare million and fill in an off-season production gap. Hugh Jackman is a late 19th century Duke living in New York. He's accidentally transported to the modern day following time traveller Stuart (Schrieber), making friends, an impression in the vein of Crocodile Dundee with his genteel, educated ways and falling in love with beautiful but emotionally lost ex lover of Stuart (Ryan, at her most pixie-ish).

It has plenty of faults - being a love story, not much more time could be spent on the device of time travel, but it still seems ridiculous that everyone's concerned with their own love lives in the face of such a discovery. Also, Stuart's character lurches and turns from caring intellect to Jerry Lewis-like bumbling, and Leopold fits in and accepts his new surroundings too easily and too early, but it's a different spin on boy meets girl if that's what you're after.

Some of the most brazen product placement I've seen so far - not only were Apple written into the script, one shot of Ryan's boss sitting at his desk was framed to display a G3 Powerbook as prominently as the actor (as well as every computer in the film being a Macintosh of some sort). It also betrays the pro-market values ingrained in every American (including Hollywood) by Jackman's diatribe against the dying aristocracy and in favour of the new elite of the inventors and businessmen (who he calls 'men of accomplishment').

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