Time-travel Romance Hits the Sweet Spot
- Holly McClure Movie Reviewer
- 2001 24 Dec
Best for: Mature teens to adults who want to see a romantic comedy.
What it’s about: The year is 1867, and Leopold (Hugh Jackman), the Third Duke of Albany, is about to choose whom he wants to marry. After an unusual sequence of events, he awakens to find he has traveled through time to New York City in the 21st century, thanks to his great-great grandson Stuart (Liev Schriber). Leo meets and falls in love with Stuart’s ex-girlfriend Kate McKay (Meg Ryan) and woos her with his old-fashioned manners and romantic charm. The two prove that true love is timeless and can change the course of history.
The good: If you long for a delightful blend of old fashioned Hollywood romance mixed with 21st century situations, then this charming adult fable is for you. Jackman is perfectly cast as the romantic, aristocratic leading gentleman who convincingly woos Ryan with his good looks, nobility, wonderful cooking and gentlemanly charm. Humorous scenes of Leo adapting to modern technology (he loves the toaster and TV), stealing a horse and chasing a purse-snatcher through Central Park are countered by Kate’s quest to climb the corporate ladder and her cynical attitude about men.
The snappy dialogue and humorous behavior hint at poignant truths: our society has conditioned men to forgo civility and chivalry, women have stopped expecting it and we rarely stop to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Ryan delivers her trademark dimpled smile, comedic body language and great hair, but she also gives us a woman who’s given up on fantasy and romance. She’s the quintessential definition of a liberated 21st century woman, captivated by a man who truly respects and appreciates her femininity.
This is the perfect “date” movie for the holidays, with themes of love and romance that crosses time.
The not-so-good: There are no graphic sexual situations, partial nudity or violence. Some adult situations, dialogue and issues about dating make this a story mature teens and adults will appreciate.
Offensive language: The film is set in a century that doesn’t seem to mind bad language, so the film does, unfortunately, contain some of it.
Sexual situations: Kate asks Leo to lay on the bed with her and console her while she falls asleep, but it’s harmless.
Violence: No violence, but a hilarious pratfall situation puts Stuart in the hospital.
Parental advisory: This romantic comedy includes sarcastic comments and adult dialogue meant for mature audiences.