Time: 118 mins.
Academy Award nomination for Best Song.
It's understandable that Meg Ryan is bored with roles that enforce her "America's Sweetheart" persona, but the only thing her modern-day career woman character in this painful piece proves is her poor taste in material. Though supposedly a romantic comedy, the humor is tedious and the only swoon-inducing aspect is Jackman's heart-stopping physique. I applaud their efforts for trying to inject a little originality into this tired genre. Unfortunately, they don't quite manage to marry the film's old-fashioned charm with its' distinctly modern sensibility. Not to mention that the time travel aspect leaves more holes in the plot than found in swiss cheese. Jackman is perfectly cast as the aristocratic and chivalrous Duke of Albany, who finds the modernization of his beloved New York City both horrifying and fascinating. His forays into the big city deliver most of the film's funniest moments. Trapped in the future, he shows his modern day compatriots, played by Schreiber and Meyer, the proper way to woo a lady.
Ryan, on the other hand, has the unbelievable task of trying to resist his obvious charms. As a woman of the 20th century, she's smart, strong and independent, which are characteristics that should be applauded, but instead are used as reasons why she can't find a decent man. She's a successful, confident woman and yet her life is incomplete without a partner. I know, this is a film about finding "the one", but why does she have to be the one to sacrifice everything for love? Sure, the Duke travelled through time to find her, but that wasn't exactly his choice...or was it? (You wouldn't believe me even if I could explain it.) While the plot may be mind-bogglingly silly, it's near outrageousness is not this film's main problem. Ryan is. She plays Kate as so bitter and forelorn, I just couldn't believe that anyone would fall in love with her, especially someone like the Duke. I guess he prefers a woman who challenges his heart and mind rather than the simpering pushovers from his own time. Score one for the present-day gal.