Kate and Leopold

Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman. Directed by James Mangold.
Running Time: 118 mins
Rated: PG
It is such a pleasure to recommend a romantic comedy that is actually funny, tender and to which parents could easily take their older children.

Stuart (Lieu Schreiber) is an inventor. Through careful calculations he discovers a time portal and returns to New York 1876. There he meets the equally inventive Duke of Albany (Jackman) who follows Stuart all the way home to New York 2002. Stuart's former girlfriend Kate (Ryan) lives upstairs and soon she meets the Duke. She doesn't believe Stuart's
time-travel story but is smitten by His Grace's old world manners.

There is nothing new in this clash of cultures story, but director James Mangold brings a light touch to this endearing tale. He also milks some genuinely funny scenes for all they're worth, without going to far.

Many things help this light film to succeed. Donna Zakowska's costumes for both centuries are detailed and clever. Rolfe Kent's music score is charming, especially in his various treatment of the Gavotte theme and Mangold and Steven Roger's screenplay holds plenty of colour and warmth.

Meg Ryan is excellent, but Hugh Jackman takes on the role of the traditional leading man role with style and grace.

There is a nice message in Kate and Leopold too. For those of us who are lamenting the disappearance of some former courtesies and are appalled at how aggressively we now speak to each other, Kate and Leopold reminds us that not everything about 2002 is an improvement on former days.
Richard Leonard SJ

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