Main cast: Meg Ryan (Kate McKay), Hugh Jackman (Leopold Alexis Elijah Walker Gareth Thomas Mountbatten), Liev Schreiber (Stuart Besser), Breckin Meyer (Charlie McKay), Natasha Lyonne (Darci), and Bradley Whitford (JJ)
Director: James Mangold
There is only one reason to watch this movie, and even that depends on whether one is a Hugh Jackman fan. He’s the sole saving grace in this tired, formulaic romantic comedy. Leopold Mountbatten, the Duke of Albany, is a 19th century gentleman displaced to the 21st century, but everything else is strictly by the book.
The problem starts when a scientist named Stuart Besser discovers a time portal that allows him to go back to the 19th century. He spends the day taking photos while trailing the Duke of Albany. The Duke catches him, however, and in the scuffle that ensues, Leopold ends up in the 21st century with Stuart.
When Stuart falls down an elevator shaft and is hospitalized, Leopold ends up in the company of Meg Ryan, who plays Stuart’s ex-girlfriend and career woman. The Mog and Leopold will fall in love – is there any doubt? – but alas, can a modern jaded woman fall for a chivalrous, gallant Leopold who looks just like Hugh Jackman?
Everything about this movie just screams “Half-baked!” from the obligatory want-more-than-professional-relationship braggart boss of the Mog, the goofy matchmaking younger brother (Breckin Meyer, wasted completely), the romantic personal assistant of Mog, and the final “Duke! I’m cooooming! I’m coooming!” (not in a dirty way, alas) eleventh hour rush-for-kiss thing.
And what’s with the Mog’s horrible hair in this movie?
The Mog doesn’t have to do much here, just pouting and stomping like the usual modern woman archetype in chick flicks. Breckin Meyer fares better as Mog’s aspiring actor brother, but Mr Jackman here scores the home run in his just as half-baked role as the Duke. He has the voice, the looks, the gallantry, the mannerisms – everything about him just screams “Prince Charming!” Plus, those white breeches don’t hurt. I mean, in that scene where he walks away from the horse carriage to follow the Mog who has hired a cab, it is very clear that he dresses to the left.
Not that I am looking at his crotch. Of course not.
Hugh Jackman is beautiful. This movie is boring, formulaic, the ending rushed, and feels 100% artificial and brittle, just like the Mog’s hair in this movie.