Released Christmas Day 2001, a romantic comedy with some sci-fi elements. The comedy is not that funny and the scifi elements are full of plot holes.
Sad but interesting premise: A man, Stuart, finds a portal in time and goes back to the 1800s to research the inventor of the elevator, Leopold. Unfortunately Stuart is not to careful with his mini-camera and is found out. In being chased by Leopold (to find out who this guy is who’s spying on him) they fall into the portal and reappear back in 2001.
Meg Ryan plays the ex-girlfriend of Stuart. Not only does she flatly refuse to believe anything Stuart says regarding Leopold, but she gives her brother, Charles, a hard time, too when he joins Leopold in a song & dance. Meg’s character is vindictive and not very attractive at the start of the film.
I’m thinking, “This is a date movie? Not!”
Leopold (played expertly by Hugh Jackman as a nobleman) has the manners of a 19th century man, stands when the lady stands (Kate shirks this as nonsense) and has some difficulty cutting through frozen TV dinners.
Most of the film has comedy activities as Leo has difficulty dealing with the year 2001 and desires to return to his own century as soon as possible.
In this film, time changes occur slowly. I never understood this concept. Things should change all at once (as in Frequency).
Meg’s character gets frustrated with what she considers an “act” by Leo, “pretending” that he is from the 19th century, but he says something that gets her thinking about her next marketing ploy at the job. With Leo’s help, she may be able to make vice president!
Stuart meantime is very worried that to keep Leo in the 21st century will create a time space continuum rift (which is never fully explained).
Kate doesn’t get that her boss has other motives when he takes her to dinner and Leo insists on being a Chaperone. Kate doesn’t have a clue and goes out anyway with predictable results.
Leo rides a horse to stop a purse thief. Mildly interesting. At this, Kate starts to reconsider that Leo just may be a duke.
Stuart attempts to get on the phone to make sure Leo stays in the apartment, ends up dislodging some guy’s air tubes. Not that funny.
There are several continuity and anachronistic errors. If the producers had not used the incorrect date of 1876, yet he is at the dedication to the Brooklyn Bridge which was 1893.
Cute if predictable ending!
There are other plot holes: If his disappearance affected elevators being invented, then why are there still elevator shafts? And wouldn’t buildings be shorter? And what of the Otis Elevator Company?
Lots of nitpicking, but if you fail to pick the nits, and are a Hugh Jackman or Meg Ryan fan, you should enjoy this on a slow Saturday night for your next rental.