I had decided last week that I would avoid the Royal wedding shenanigans that were to plague commercial television and print leading up to the nuptials. Yet somehow I found myself accepting an invitation to a get-together Friday night to watch the wedding with some British inspired nibbles and drinks, and Wednesday night I found myself sitting down to watch the absurd telemovie William & Kate: A Modern-Day Fairytale.
“Inspired by true events” flashed across a cloud spotted sky as we circled in and down on St. Andrews University where we meet athletic Kate and down-to-earth Will, who will soon meet but not immediately fall in love.
There was something a bit sour about watching this film, and it wasn’t just the sub-par performances that wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Neighbours. Sure, I knew Will & Kate would be sappy and cheesy, but I didn’t expect it to be so aggressive and manipulative. Not knowing what really goes on behind the Palace doors makes it near on impossible to give a true representation of events or people but the film turns every girl into a giggling mess and every Royal into a jolly fun, just-like-us character.
As I was taking notes, hoping for some corker quotes to ramble off here, it became obvious it was only occasionally laugh out loud funny, and more from the situations Will and Kate are placed in rather than clunky dialogue; shared expressions over how mutually bored they are in an art lecture or – the highlight of the film for me – when Will serenades Kate with a song, and the witnessing pub patrons break out in a round of applause afterwards.
As with most true stories adapted to the screen, everyone is infinitely better looking here than their real life counterparts; that is, except for poor Harry. The ginger brother who always plays second fiddle has a blink and you’ll miss it appearance where he’s played as overtly feminine. Dare I say that I find the real life Harry vastly better looking than the actor portraying him here; yes I’ll admit if I had to choose I’m Team Harry over William any day of the week.
Billed as a modern day fairytale, Kate is highlighted at every opportunity as a “commoner”; someone who Will may hang out with but will never go out with, as one bitchy socialite tactlessly points out to her. Kate, we’re led to believe, is the only person who has ever told Will he can do whatever he wants with his life and can bring the monarchy into the twenty-first century and “help the people”. Kate, it appears, is more than an employee of Jigsaw – she inspires the future King and advises Prince Charles that she thinks “solar power is the key to our future” (this conversation taking place while she wields a shotgun).
As could be predicted, William & Kate: A Modern-Day Fairytale is ridiculous beyond comprehension and utilises an appalling amount of green screen, especially when showing the engagement in Kenya. This scene was particularly peculiar, what with it having no dialogue and being tacked on to the end of the film in an obvious ‘we need to wrap things up in 2 minutes’ kind of way.
A part of me would like to imagine that this is how things really transpired for Will and Kate; that when Kate introduced him to her family her brother threw Will a soccer ball and declared a spontaneous boys versus girls match, or that when Will saw Kate treading down the runway in that now famous see-through dress he declared, “She’s hot. When did that happen?” And I like to imagine, as the film informed me, that Prince William drinks Fanta while flying around on his private plane.
The worst part of watching Will & Kate, however, was knowing that it wasn’t the most awful thing I’d seen this week; no that award goes to From Prada to Nada, a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility that makes Will & Kate look like a film worthy of an Oscar.
William & Kate: A Modern-Day Fairytale arrives on DVD May 5.