Did anyone else happen to watch Lifetime’s William & Kate? No? Well do yourself a favor and try to catch the encores leading up to next Friday’s Royal Wedding. Because it’s the most ridiculous thing you’ll ever see.
We begin with William (Nico Evers-Swindell) and Papa Prince Charles (Ben Cross, who looks awful) discussing William’s upcoming stint at University. It’ll be good for the young prince, he’ll get to live like any normal college boy, and it’s what Diana would have wanted (manipulate much, Lifetime? oh right; you’re Lifetime). No sooner is William foolishly buying Charles’ prattle, than the paparazzi make their first appearance. Let’s be honest; a story where the only villains are nameless blokes with cameras is really lacking something in the character development department.
Back to Wills, he gets a roommate, and the majority of his female classmates are anxious to get a peek at the co-ed who would be king. All except for a pretty brunette named Kate Middleton (Camilla Luddington). He’s simply another boy to her. Just as well. Some blonde chick explains that a mere commoner doesn’t stand a chance with Wills, could never relate to him, blah, blah, blah. But after a particularly awkward scene where William’s new mates vow to protect him from all types of slander and humiliation (and where the young prince reveals that he spreads his own gossip to see who’s trustworthy and who belongs in the Tower of London), William and Kate get paired on an art project, and the chemistry is instantaneous (not really; but their names are in the title so, you know, just go with it).
After what I think is one semester and a royal dinner with Charles and his boys (if nothing else, this movie is painting the Prince of Wales in a decent light), it’s back to school. For a fashion show. And there’s Kate, slutting it up in a see-through dress. “When did that happen?” William asks. Sure enough he’s chatting her up, trying to steal a kiss, but Kate isn’t that kind of girl. No she wants to go hunting with Charles and talk about solar power. Then Wills has to have breakfast with her family, all in their jammies, having cereal no less. But Wills seems to like slumming. So… now they’re a couple? Okay.
A few scenes back, William commented that if he could do anything in the world, he would fly. Translation: he joins the Royal Air Force. And like the night before he starts training, he suddenly decides that he’s only young once, so he better start living it up with every bimbo along the English Channel. And you know who concurs with this epiphany? None other than Mr. Sheffield himself, Charles Shaughnessy! Do he and Ben Cross and Serena Scott Thomas (who plays Kate’s mother and once brought Diana to life on the small screen) have a particular axe to grind with the House of Windsor?
Back to our story, such as it is, Kate finally gets tired of William training all week, partying all weekend, and during a tense drive home from dinner (or something) she makes him pull over the car and stalks away. All so she can sink into a tub of depression, bubbles, glass of red wine, floor carpeted with tabloids, and all. Her mother finally appears.
“Get up, Kate! You’re young, pretty, have a great job, lots of friends.”
“But, Mummy, I’m pathetic!”
“No you’re not! Now you get out there and show the world a smile!”
Because you’re a strong woman who doesn’t need a man to define her? No. Because if William sees her having a good time, maybe he’ll realize what he’s missing (this might be the most depressing motherly advice ever delivered on-screen). Kate washes her face and puts on a tight black dress. And the filmmakers’ idea of a “montage” is Kate dancing with one person at one club and having those images appear on the cover of one magazine. But it does the trick! William sees the thing, calls her from training in the rain, reaches out to her mother. But it isn’t until a “climatic” scene with his father, which manages to be about the paparazzi, Diana, Camilla, love vs. duty, and some other stuff in all of two minutes, that William finally sees the light. He tracks down Kate at a charity rowing tournament, is ready to swim out to her (as are his bodyguards), but Kate beats him to the punch. She makes her way to the pier and, soaking wet, hears his declaration of love. They kiss, and the other girls on the boat applaud. And as if that isn’t bad enough, we’re transported to Kenya, or rather a tent set against a green screen depicting an African sunset, and with swelling music, bended knee, and no words (thank god for small miracles), William proposes, Kate accepts, they embrace, and look ahead to a beautiful future. So ends (or begins) the story of a bland boy and the girl who needs him to justify her existence.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m actually looking forward to next week’s nuptials. Until then, check this out. It’s a mess, but at least they failed royally.