Making the Grades
If the caution to "look before you leap" ever applied to anyone, it would have been Leopold, the third Duke of Albany (Hugh Jackman). Leaving his British roots to seek more fertile prospects in New York City, the thirty-something bachelor needs to marry money to keep the family tree alive and well. Unfortunately, his heart isn't in the task. An avid inventor, the aristocrat is far more interested in a curious stranger with a small silver device who appears to be observing him. Turning the tables, Leopold follows the spy right over the edge of the Brooklyn Bridge!
Instead of the East River, the Duke finds himself plunging into some sort of portal that puts him more than one hundred years ahead of his time. And the man he was pursuing turns out to be his own great grandson, who evidently has inherited some of Leopold's scientific genius. According to Stuart's (Liev Schreiber) calculations, there won't be another window of opportunity to return to the 19th century for another week, so the anachronism attempts to wait out the culture shock.
But the Duke knows he is in over his head when he meets Kate (Meg Ryan). As Stuart's former girlfriend, she has heard plenty of preposterous theories before, and simply doesn't accept the time travel explanation for Leopold's appearance. Believing the best cure for his backward behaviour is a strong dose of reality; the determined career woman pushes the nervous nobleman into the hubbub of 21st century living.
Despite his obvious confusion, Leopold's chivalry and outdated manners remain constant, and slowly the hard-shelled marketing executive begins to think she could melt in the warmth of his charm...if only he wasn't suffering from such delusions of grandeur.
Parents may find themselves wishing "if only" too, because Kate And Leopold contains occasional sexual innuendo, numerous depictions of alcohol consumption, mild to moderate language, and a romantically implausible result for leaping from a bridge. Yet, the contrast between Leopold's formal society and today's often-disrespectful attitudes is a powerful reminder that courtesy and sincerity are still attractive attributes.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Kate And Leopold.
Jumping from a bridge (or any tall structure) would result in death—not time travel. Do you think it is reckless or irrelevant that the movie makes this depiction?
What cultural barriers do you see as possible concerns for a couple that have been raised over one hundred years apart?
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was a marvel of its time. To find more information about its history, try http://www.endex.com/gf/buildings/bbridge/bbridgefacts.htm
For insight on the real inventor of the elevator, check out http://www.invent.org/book/book-text/81.html where you will notice the script took a lot of artistic licence in ascribing this invention to the Duke. (If you watch the closing credits closely, you will find they name the real mastermind: Elisha Graves Otis)