In 1876 New York, Leopold (Hugh Jackman) is an English duke whose uncle (Paxton Whitehead) is pressuring him to marry a wealthy woman in order to insure his future. On the evening of his thirtieth birthday, the Third Duke of Albany is scheduled to announce his bride-to-be. But seeing a stranger he also spotted at the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Leopold follows him and the two of them mysteriously time travel to twenty-first century Manhattan.
The stranger, it turns out, is Stuart (Liev Schreiber) and his companion still clad in an outfit that looks like Sgt. Pepper is his great-great grandfather, the inventor of the elevator. Got all that?
Leopold meets Kate McKay (Meg Ryan), Stuart's former girlfriend who lives below his apartment. She's a gung ho market researcher in an ad agency who's rather jaded about romantic relationships at this point in her busy life. Her brother Charlie (Breckin Meyer), an actor, has not fared very well with the opposite sex either.
James Mangold (Girl Interrupted) directs this time-travel romantic comedy. With only a week left to return Leopold to 1876, Stuart gets to work on the project. Meanwhile, this charming gentleman from Victorian England is amazed at the lifestyle of twenty-first century Americans who have no time for the amenities of life, the culinary arts, or romantic etiquette. Leopold tutors Charlie in the proper way to get a woman's attention, and he stops the advances of Kate's chauvinist boss (Bradley Whitford) whom he reveals to be both a braggart and a cad. Most dramatically, this time traveler retrieves Kate's purse from a thief he pursues on horseback through Central Park.
Hugh Jackman is a delight as Leopold, the perfect gentleman who's a model of urbanity and civility so desperately missing from our times. In the end, his many kindnesses do have a positive impact on Kate, the worn-out workaholic. She is forced like the character she played in Joe Versus the Volcano to make a leap of faith.
The DVD includes the director’s cut of the film, an audio commentary by James Mangold, deleted scenes, a short featurette about the costumes, and the music video by Sting “Until.”