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Case Number 21564

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William & Kate

New Video // 2011 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Josh Rode (Retired) // June 15th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge Josh Rode would like to be someone's prince, but he just can't afford it on his salary.

The Charge

Let love rule.

Opening Statement

What happens when a royal prince meets the woman of his dreams? Well, since he's a prince, pretty much whatever he wants. Throw in the fact that said woman is also quite interested in him and you have the makings of a modern…well, Lifetime movie, complete with all the schmaltz you could ever hope for.

Facts of the Case

There was a media buzz in the late winter and early spring of 2011. Not because of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East or the slow resurrection of the world's economies, or even because Donald Trump seemed interested in running for President of the United States. No, the biggest news was that His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. was soon to marry his long-time girlfriend Catherine Middleton.

The Evidence

The Wedding of the Century (although it seems a bit premature to be proclaiming such a thing) occurred on April 29, 2011, but few people know the story of how the royal couple met. Okay, that's not true; it's impossible for anyone in the royal family to do anything inconspicuous.

But what happened after? Who knows how their love bloomed? Actually, everyone already knows that, too. And the world shared their wedding, even those in the US who had to get up at three in the morning to watch. So what is the point of a movie for which everyone already knows the beginning, middle, and end?

Emotional investment, of course. See, the truth is that everyone knows how 90% of films will end, and could probably make a good crack at the other 10%. Solomon complained that there was nothing new under the sun over two millennia ago, so what could possibly surprise us now? All that's left for today's jaded audience is the search for some reason to become emotionally attached. We want to lose ourselves in these stories. Add the intrinsic pull of a true-life romance to a built-in audience based on celebrity worship and, if it's even reasonably well written and acted, a story like William & Kate should Hoover in viewers like a starving elephant at a peanut convention.

william and kate lifetime

The good news is that it is reasonably well acted. Both of the leads have played mostly secondary parts on various television shows, but they seem comfortable in their roles and settle into a tangible chemistry early on. Nico Evers-Swindell (NCIS: Los Angeles) has enough charm to be convincing (although he only resembles the actual Prince William in that he is male and Caucasian). Camilla Luddington (The Defenders) does fine as well, hitting her "I can't believe I'm with him" and "I can't believe he did that to me" emotes with enough conviction to generate joy or anger or whatever else the movie wants the viewer to feel.

I didn't see the show when it originally aired, so I don't know how many commercials may have run, but each very short scene seems like it was made to be a self-contained piece. It's like film-making for the short attention span crowd. When viewed as an uninterrupted whole, this makes the film feel rather choppy and rushed.

The movie was made for TV, of course, so the DVD comes with the 16:9 aspect ratio ready-made. Sound-wise, it only comes with a 2.0 Dolby track. Neither are spectacular, but both fit the "good enough" production values of…what's that? You want to know the plot? Oh. Okay. That won't take long.

Um…let's see. Prince William goes to college, is wowed by a see-through dress worn by Kate at a student fashion show, and goes after her with everything he's got. She's happy at first, but then gets a taste of tabloid media and doesn't care so much for that part. They graduate, he goes off to a stint in the military, she mopes around without him while being constantly harassed by said media. He almost blows it because he listens to his idiotic friend who tells him he's being stifled, but then he realizes just in time that he can't be without her and shows how much he cares by almost jumping into a lake for her. Then he proposes in front of a blue screen showing a fake African sunset.

Oh, sorry, I should have warned you about spoilers. Except there aren't any. I don't know how accurate the film is in relation to what actually happened, but neither the movie nor its intended audience cares about that. The billing on the front of the DVD cover says, "Who says fairy tales don't come true?" And a fairy tale (albeit one without a fairy godmother or singing animals) is what it sets out to be. It gives its intended audience what they paid for. Well, they didn't pay, other than their cable bill, but if you buy this DVD, you will get exactly what you paid for. Please buy it by clicking on our Amazon link.

You would think with all the media attention the real William and Kate received throughout their years together, not to mention the wedding that took place just a couple of months ago, that New Video would have plenty of material for loads of extras. Talk about a picture gallery! It could go on nearly forever! If they really wanted to go the extra mile, they could include the entire wedding! What a great supplement that would make! You could revisit the grandeur and the spectacle and Princess Beatrice's hat that looks like a fancy toilet seat!

But, sadly, the extras are…lacking. Completely. Unless you want to count the option to select specific scenes, which is the only choice on the main menu besides "Play Program."

Closing Statement

The images that flashed in your head the moment you discovered Lifetime made a movie about Prince William and Kate Middleton are 100% accurate.

The Verdict

Guilty of giving its intended audience exactly what it was looking for.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 0
Acting: 80
Story: 70
Judgment: 76

Perp Profile

Studio: New Video
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Biographical
• Drama
• Romance
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site
• The Royal Wedding








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