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Kate & Leopold (2002)
Director: James Mangold
Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Breckin Meyer, Natasha Lyonne, Bradley Whitford and Paxton Whitehead.
118 minutes
5th April 2002
12 cert camera
Meg Ryan stars in Kate & Leopold
Kate & Leopold
Romantic comedy has never had a strong basis in logic and this was never more apparent than in "Kate & Leopold", Meg Ryan's dumb but enjoyable return to the romantic comedy fray.
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Ryan plays Ally McBeal-alike Kate, a career-orientated New Yorker with romance issues. She lives in an apartment below her ex, Stuart (Schreiber), a scientist who discovers - as you do - a time portal just off the Brooklyn Bridge. Travelling back to 1876, Stuart accidentally brings Leopold (Jackman), an English duke, back to the present day with him.

Kate clashes with Leopold initially, only to be won over by his dashing English charm (the English being big on charm in the 19th century, of course). But, as he's Stuart's great-grandfather, Leopold must return to his own time to keep the family line intact, leaving Kate to decide between a future in the present or the past.

With its mostly nonsensical plot, "Kate & Leopold" is the kind of sentimental flight of fancy where romance and chivalry preside over narrative logic. Never mind how the time travel works, if you care enough about the fate of these two likeable leads, then common sense is irrelevant to the film's enjoyment factor.

Enjoying more success here than in his previous romantic comedy "Someone Like You", Hugh Jackman has the looks, decorum, and comic timing to capture Leopold's persona. He's the highlight of the film, and some of the most amusing scenes are between Leopold and Kate's brother, Charlie (Meyer), an unemployed actor who thinks Leopold's anachronistic persona is an extreme form of method acting.

Hilarious at times, unbearably soppy at others, "Kate & Leopold" is comfortable viewing for old romantics.

"Kate & Leopold" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 5th April 2002.

Reviewed by Laura Bushell, BBC Films

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