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Tue December 11, 2001
Kate and Leopold
Meg Ryan is surprisingly mature, while still retaining her shaggy perkiness.
By John DeSando, WCBE's It's Movie Time
Kate and Leopold is a sometimes romantic and amusing spin on a very tired H.G. Wells and Hollywood theme about time traveling. Fortunately it has some insightful things to say along the way about the loss of Victorian gentility and the dishonesty of modern marketing. Its references to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" are a reminder that all modern romantic comedies owe much to that model.
Meg Ryan is surprisingly mature, while still retaining her shaggy perkiness. Hugh Jackman joins Rupert Everett and Colin Firth in the current hunky and cultured Brit pack. Jackman has charisma all his own, a bearing and intelligence that defies time and gender he appears to be the ageless ideal of beautiful, smart, and infinitely capable of adapting to any time and place.
The homage to the 1876 christening of the Brooklyn Bridge seems somehow just right at this time in our century--the film exalts the inventive energy of Americans to build bridges and elevators, praising the ever-enterprising spirit that comes up with other enduring icons like the not-quite-perfect electric toaster.
More than that praise of invention is the film's reassurance that Americans and Brits and presumably everyone else are capable of leaving behind all the perks of modern life to travel back to the greatest invention of all time -- love.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time" and vice-chairs the Board of the Film Council of Greater Columbus.