Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2001. Konrad Pictures, Miramax. Story by Steven Rogers, Screenplay by James Mangold, Steven Rogers. Cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh. Produced by Cathy Konrad. Music by Rolfe Kent. Production Design by Mark Friedberg. Costume Design by Donna Zakowska. Film Editing by David Brenner. Academy Awards 2001. Golden Globe Awards 2001.
You have to be quite the humbug not to enjoy this heartwarming romance about cross-cultural love between two complete opposites. 19th-century English Duke Hugh Jackman has the surprise of a lifetime when he follows a strange party guest (Liev Schreiber) in his home to the newly-erected Brooklyn Bridge, falls into the river and ends up travelling back with the scientist to modern-day New York City. Upon arrival, once his culture shock has subsided a little, he becomes acquainted with Schreiber’s neighbour and ex-girlfriend (Meg Ryan), who naturally doesn’t believe the time-travel story and instead opts for a more every-guy’s-got-a-line take on him. The romance that blossoms between the two of them is charming, mostly because it relies on character development and not the gimmick of the fish-out-of-water joke that the film’s premise is set upon, but also because Ryan tones down her plucky personality. Jackman is astute as the overly-proper gentleman whose decorative and formal ways seem like complete lunacy to a contemporary person, and thanks to his being from a different time period, all the more lush overtones of romanticism in the film fit right in. Sensitively directed and beautifully photographed, this is a must for anyone looking for a good date movie.