Review: Kate & Leopold
2.5 / 5 Stars
Kate & Leopold is a whimsical romantic comedy starring the attractive Meg Ryan and the exceptional Hugh Jackman which is most striking in how un-striking it is. Similarly, the music is nice and pleasant, but almost completely uninspired. The film tells the story of a disenchanted dilettante who accidentally follows a time traveler from 1876 New York to present-day New York. The young American noble, played by Jackman, falls in love with the traveler (Live Schreiber)'s former girlfriend and neighbor, Meg Ryan. This is a sweet, light story that is certainly enjoyable enough, but never exceptional. As a romance, it is simple and inoffensive, but as a story, it feels like everything is glossed over. You get just enough information to tell a semblance of a story, but nothing more - and in so doing, it becomes unsatisfying. We soon can predict every turn the story takes, and the end seems completely like a foregone conclusion.
In the same way, the soundtrack is a completely enjoyable score that lacks any real personality. The score's composer Rolfe Kent is no slouch, and each piece is well-crafted and sets a good tone of both whimsy and intrigue. Moreover, he evokes a period feel while still keeping the music intriguing to a modern audience. In addition, to the score, the soundtrack includes the Oscar-nominated song "Until", performed by Sting, which adds a nice light touch.
That being said, nothing about the music is overly unique or memorable. You don't come away from it humming the Kate & Leopold theme. To be fair, Kent is clearly limited by the film. Every step of the way, the filmmakers play it safe, so for him to go out on a limb would seem incongruous. Having said that, he could have added some stronger, more unique emotional threads that would make the overall film have more weight than a feather. Also, Sting's piece is definitely phoned in - it has none of the flare or style that we associate with the rock icon.
Basically, the only folks who will like this soundtrack are die-hard fans of the movie who want to re-live the film, even though the music is not terribly evocative. Otherwise, save your $15 for something a little less vanilla and a little more fun and interesting.
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