Monday, August 29, 2011
William and Catherine - A Royal Romance
William & Catherine: A Royal Romance chronicles the love story of Prince William (Dan Amboyer) and Kate Middleton (Alice St. Clair) that resulted in one of the most celebrated weddings in history. At a pivotal point in their courtship, William takes to heart the advice of his mother, the late Princess Diana (Lesley Harcourt), which she bestowed in an interview before her untimely death. The message she left for her son: hold on to the love of your life and protect it with all of your heart.
Stars Jane Alexander (Queen Elizabeth II), Victor Garber (Prince Charles), Jean Smart (Camilla Parker Bowles), Alice St. Clair (Kate Middleton), Dan Amboyer (Prince William).
Gotham Gal says - Well, you just knew that I was going to watch this didn't you? Especially with Hurricane Irene battering the East Coast, I really, truly had nothing better to watch this weekend apart from Dr. Who and several episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker (Patti really is a bitch isn't she?). This TV movie in many ways was even more laughable than the Lifetime TV movie that came out in April. I'm not even sure where to start with this one. The scene at Prince William's 21st birthday party, when Kate comes bouncing up to the Queen and introduces herself without even curtesying. The portrayal of the Middleton's as gauche, nouveau-riche idiots? Kate and the Queen playing WiFi tennis? Prince William breaking up with Kate over the telephone?The Queen trying to pronounce Kanye West? Or how about Prince Philip completely getting the Queen's genealogy wrong by calling Edward VII her great uncle? (He was her great grandfather).
The movie opens up with Prince William watching a videotape of his mother in the infamous interview with Martin Bashir (he watches this interview intermittently during the movie to show how close he was to his mother and how her death affected him). I had no problem with that. I did have a problem with them showing Prince William showing up at St. Andrew's University sans Prince Charles (which the previous movie at least managed to get right). Kate and William meet cute in the hallway when he bumps into her and she drops her laundry. Hysterical moment when he points out her knickers are still on the ground. This Kate Middleton is a barmaid at the local pub, where William drowns his sorrows trying to be normal bloke. There is the obligatory scene where Kate convinces him to stay at college which comes out of nowhere, and scenes of him dating some generic blonde named Cynthia. Of course we have the infamous fashion show, where for some reason Prince Harry shows up, looking older than William.
In this version Kate and William's relationship doesn't start until after his 21st birthday, he's too preoccupied with someone named Jenna (presumably Jecca Craig). Back at college, during their third year, he sets up a romantic dinner for two, which he burns. Kate comes to the rescue and she jumps him while they are watching a movie. The one thing I will give this movie credit for, is that at least you have some sense as to why William and Kate are attracted to each other, and why they fell in love, a huge failure of the Lifetime Movie. Where this movie fails is in their protrayal of the Middleton family. Kate comes off as completely clueless about royal etiquette as do her parents. There is no Pippa and James and no sense of how close the Middletons are, which is apparently what attracted William in the first place.
What gauls me about both these movies is that there are dozens of books and magazines that have been written about the royal couple, documenting at least the milestones in their relationship and both movies either fudge the details (because they have the cheapest budgets on the planet) or don't care. Kate didn't take the job at Jigsaw until almost a year after her graduation from college. Where was the scene of Prince William landing a helicopter on the Middleton's lawn? Kate and her family showing up at Prince William's graduation, and Carole Middleton getting slagged for chewing nicotine gum? The nights out at Bouji and Mahiki? Kate taking part in the charity race (the first movie at least got this right). The only sign of William feeling trapped is Kate pointing out a crib in a shop window. In the Hallmark movie, Kate and William get back together after they discover they are both watching the same concert in the park.
While the Hallmark movie has a more distinguished cast (Victor Garber, Jane Alexander and Jean Smart), Ben Cross was a much more believable Prince Charles than Victor Garber. Not sure what was the point of having scenes with Camilla since we never get a sense of her relationship with Prince William, Prince Harry or even the Queen. The Lifetime movie also gave you more of a sense of the time that Kate and William spent together, skiing, spending weekends at Highgrove. However, both films feature the generic friends of Prince William who don't really have names but are just filler.
I have to give this film an A for effort but a C+ for delivery.