Imagine your future happiness is bound by fate to one man... a man who is dashing, handsome, and chivalrous, and who would do anything in his power to make you happy.
Now imagine he lived and died over a hundred years ago.
''Kate and Leopold'' is a 2001 romantic comedy about Kate (MegRyan), an ambitious businesswoman who has been unlucky in love, and Leopold (Creator/HughJackman), a 19th-century duke who must marry to restore his family's fortune. The current pool of bachelorettes from his own time don't appeal to him.
Stuart Besser (Leopold's great-great-grandson) travels back in time from the 21st century to 1876 via [[AppliedPhlebotinum a time portal]] to document some of Leo's papers in their element. Leopold is suspicious of Stuart and pursues him back to the 21st century by accident. (It was a literal accident.) He is forced to stay in Stuart's apartment, where he meets Kate, who was Stuart's girlfriend until a month prior and still lives in the floor below... She doesn't trust Leopold at first -- after all, she met him at Stuart's. But her brother Charlie returns home while she's at work and befriends him, ensuring they stay in contact. [[HilarityEnsues Romance ensues]].
There are complications. No one in the 21st century ''believes'' Leopold is the Duke of Albany, and he is too honorable a man to make a story that anyone will believe. Oh, and Leopold is the inventor of the elevator, but hadn't invented it yet when he chased Stuart. Thus, all the elevators start malfunctioning as soon as Leopold hits the present. Stuart is the victim of a severe elevator accident, and so is sidelined for most of the film desperately trying to deliver important messages -- a problem made worse because these messages all involve time travel.
!!This film provides examples of:
* BadassLongcoat : Leopold. Whether in his Victorian clothes or modern clothes, he wears a very cool looking, quite long coat.
* ButtMonkey: Stuart [[spoiler:falls down an elevator shaft]] after returning to New York, and for the next 2/3 of the film it just gets worse for him.
* DelayedRippleEffect: The elevators get all weird and non-functional when Leopold, inventor of the elevator, is transported to the 21st century.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: A mild example; Leopold refers to Kate's market research job as a "fine avocation for a woman" and does not realize how condescending and sexist that sounds in the 21st century.
* DoubleEntendre: "And in the future I believe men will be judged by the size of their erections!"
* DoubleStandard: Kate and Stuart are equally mean to each other, but we're supposed to regard Stuart as the bad guy, and Kate as TheWoobie. E.g.,:
-->'''Kate:''' I can't believe I gave you the best years of my life.
-->'''Stuart:''' Those were your ''best''?
-->''Kate looks like she's about to cry. Director expects audience's sympathy to be with Kate. Audience mostly wonders why Stuart ever put up with her.''
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Leopold is a nobleman from 19th century Albany in 21st century America.
-->'''Leopold:''' No, no, this will not do.
-->'''Charlie:''' Wha... Why? What is wrong with this one?
-->'''Leopold:''' The orange lily implies extreme hatred. The begonia and lavender danger and suspicion, respectively. Every flower has a meaning, Charles. Might I suggest the amaryllis, which declares the recipient a most splendid beauty. Or the cabbage rose.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: Leopold admires men of accomplishment and is working on inventing the elevator.
* GratuitousFrench: Leopold hears the Kate's boss speaks French fluently so he says something in French to show that the man doesn't know what he's talking about. Then Leopold says that he doesn't know that much French actually so he had probably said the only line in French that he knows.
* HasAType: Upon hearing of Kate's profession of market research, Leopold says that research is perfect for the feminine mind and he himself once courted a librarian in Sussex.
* HaveAGayOldTime: Stuart just couldn't keep from chuckling at all the talk of erections.
* HorsebackHeroism : Leo rides down a purse snatcher through Central Park on the back of a horse that he borrowed from a carriage ride.
%%* IAmOneOfThoseToo: Pwned.
* IGaveMyWord: Marriage is the promise of eternal love and as a man of honor, Leopold can not promise eternally what he has never felt momentarily.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Leopold has no money, which is why his uncle pressures him to marry a rich American. He complains about it in the beginning but in the end he understands that there are some things that a person just needs to do.
** Imagine the look on a purse-snatcher's face when Leo rides him down on horseback.
-->'''Leopold:''' [[BadassBoast I warn you scoundrel, I was trained at the King's Academy and schooled in weaponry by the palace guard. You stand no chance. When you run, I shall ride, when you stop, the steel of this strap shall be lodged in your brain.]] \\
''[bag snatcher throws down the bag and flees, onlookers applaud]''
** Leopold believes that Kate requires a chaperone on her date with her boss so he offers to go with her to protect her from his obvious intentions. When she refuses he tells her boss, "Some feel that to court a woman in one's employ is nothing more than a serpentine effort to transform a lady to a whore."
* MrFanservice: Leopold. Being portrayed by Creator/HughJackman will do that to you
* NameAndName: He's Leopold and she's Kate and together their names make the title.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: He's a duke who was trained in the King's Academy and schooled in weaponry by the palace guard.
* OldSchoolChivalry: The nobleman from 1876, who is accustomed to stand when a lady leaves the table, is often mocked for things like his idea of the culinary arts, but he does become more modern and learns that obligation will trump integrity. He also woos Kate with a moonlight dinner and dancing on the roof, breakfast the next morning, etc.
* OverlyLongName: ...so long that the policewoman doesn't believe that ''is'' Leopold's name and uses the name on that bill for Stuart.
* ParanormalRomance: A romance involving time travel.
* PrinceCharming: Leopold writes the best apology letter in the history of mankind.
* RebelPrince: Leopold says to his uncle that he is no duke because the new royals are men of accomplishment.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: No, Leopold cannot stay in the present in the long run! Elevators will dissapear because you haven't invented them!
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: Kate says that Leopold's handsome, honest, courteous. Stands when you walk in a room. Brings you brioche in bed. She realizes that he is someone who came along who knew exactly what she wanted without asking.
* StableTimeLoop: It is implied that Leo's line wouldn't have continued successfully if he hadn't met Kate. (His old house [[spoiler: is a school when he's in our present with Kate, but a proper mansion after he returns to his own time]].) That wouldn't have happened if Stuart hadn't gone back in time and accidentally brought him to the present.
* SurpriseIncest [[spoiler: : A subplot deleted from the final film would have revealed that Stuart was actually Leopold's descendant. Due to the StableTimeLoop that occurs at the end of the film, this means that Kate is the mother of his children, accidentally leaving us with the very real possibility that Stuart dated his own grandmother for over ''two'' years]].
* TimeTravelRomance: A romantic comedy with the leads from different centuries.
* TimeTravelTenseTrouble: Stuart has a hard time explaining things.
* WhiteStallion: That horse that Duke Leopold borrowed from a carriage ride just so happened to be white.
* YourUniverseOrMine: Our leady man and leading lady are split between centuries. Which one will they live in?