“Please accept as a gesture of apology, a private dinner on the roof top tonight at eight o’clock.” –Kate and Leopold
Watching romantic comedy was common in the late nineties, and so were period dramas. Nostalgia was in the air, but time travel had become unfashionable in both film and books. Luckily it was 2001, and someone had the brilliance to balance all of that in to one film.
When I saw the preview on TV, for the first time, I couldn’t wait to see it. The only problem I had was that I had no one to come with me. It wasn’t uncommon to attend a show, but to attend alone was unheard of. People like that were usually foreign film fanatics, and Kate and Leopold was nothing of the sort. Either way, I couldn’t go stag.
Luckily, I had a friend in mind. She thought it was a date, and I was afraid that neither the notion of a lie or the pathetic truth for the movie tickets would make it any easier to live it down. What mattered was that I had the chance to see it in the big screen, and yes, it was worth it.
Meg Ryan plays Kate, a television advertiser who’s recently broken up with her time travelling fanatic ex-boyfriend. His experiment goes too perfectly well, inviting the attention of Leopold, a Baron from the 1870s. This results in Leopold’s intrigue in the 21st century, and living with Kate, until he returns back to his time. But would he prefer living in modern New York, and for whom?
This romantic comedy was too charming to pass up. Kate, herself was the frustrating career woman that everyone could not stop from the workaholic habits we all had in the pre-“9-11” millennium. And Leopold was the embodiment of the romantic gentlemen of every Janeite’s dream. Having them argue about the sad realities of the advertising world, versus his dignity as an English gentleman, a clear perspective of self-respect had been stamped in my mind since. Abuse is what the normalcy in relationships failing in our modern world, but to cure the problem with stating self-abuse as the issue, such resolve was far from the norm. To me, their relationship became an anthem to all things necessary to forgive in the ailments of romance. A letter to dine on the rooftop was not just a cute idea, but a gesture of humility. Though it was meant to be sexy to rescue the damsel in distress by horseback, the leap of faith to jump the bridge was the perfect metaphor of what we were all feeling inside. Because even before 9-11, we were all afraid. Breaking the walls of insecurity for the sake of a relationship meant preemptive suicide – personally and socially. 2001 was not an easy year to accept. Everyone was out for compensation, and 99% of the time, they’ll blame anyone but the source. Denial was fashionable.
Being a light in my last years of teenhood, Kate and Leopold will always have a soft spot in my heart. As the best balance of all things romantic in the culture and industry of, I cannot recommend this film anymore to the dishearten independent woman, and the romantics who wonder what else could a hero be for, in a world encased in plastic and gossip? Kate and Leopold is a romantic-comedy worth for anyone who enjoy modern courtship, and the regency fantasy.