Directed by James Mangold. USA. 2001.

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WARNING: At the outset of the review, it should be noted by the reader, that I, Jennifer Johnston am a hopeless romantic. I believe in love at first sight, soulmates, fate, and that there is one person out there for everyone. 

Now that my bias has been clearly established...

Kate and Leopold. All Rights Reserved.Kate and Leopold stars Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle, Hanging Up) as Kate MacKay, and Hugh Jackman (X-Men, Swordfish) as Duke Leopold of Albany, a pair of star crossed lovers who, find each other through an unbelievable set of circumstances, and the ingenuity of Leopold's  great grandson Stewart (played by Liev Schriber of JacobtheLiar and Scream). Stewart discovers a rip in time, through which he travels to 1876 to study his great, great grandfather. Unfortunately for Stewart, he is spotted by his ancestor, and, after a chase through a beautifully reconstructed old New York, manages to pull Leopold into 2001 with him. Enter Kate.

It seems that Kate and Stewart, not only were living in the same building, but also dating. Kate, hearing some strange noises from Stewarts' apartment goes to investigate, and spies Leopold asleep on his couch......

Hugh Jackman does superbly in this movie as the man that every woman, (the ones I know at the very least) wants. He's an incredible version of Prince Charming, thoughtful, poetic, chivalrous, romantic. Those confused men, who are constantly bemoaning the fact that they have no idea what women want, need only observe Hugh Jackman's Leopold to gain the answer to their riddle. Those men in the movie theatre who aren't confused by that conundrum (endangered species all of you) will find this film to be affirming (not to mention the fact that I have several friends who would like your numbers). 

Meg Ryan's Kate is a composite that many audience members will identify with. She is a character that is wary of love, having been burned too many times. She plays a driven career woman, who finds herself settling for things she thinks she wants in love, and life. That is, until Leopold comes along. The look on her face as (in one scene) he stands when she leaves the table, is  priceless; and unlike so many female leads in romantic films, she remains her own person, even after realizing the depths of her feelings.

It is also worth commenting on the performance of Breckin Meyer (Scream, Go) as Charlie MacKay, Kate's brother. He portrays a very sweet, bumbling romantic, who you can't help but adore. He was absolutely endearing.

Kate and Leopold, unlike so many other films out there, doesn't depress or shock you. It won't make you angry, or upset you. It will however, for the simple cost of two hours of your time, give you a warm glow inside, and a smile on your face.

Jen Johnston
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