Romance fans can gear up for the big wedding by watching "William & Kate: Let Love Rule" on TV Monday--but beware, British critics have given the film a right royal drubbing.
It's bad enough, they say, that Prince William is played by Nico Evers-Swindell -- who,even though he has a hyphenated name, is a New Zealander. As for Camilla Luddington, who stars as Kate Middleton, she may be from Berkshire, the same county that Kate calls home, but "you wouldn't know it from her pronunciation," sneers the London Evening Standard critic, Richard Godwin.
The movie -- filmed in Los Angeles -- features mountains in the non-mountainous Cotswold county of Gloucestershire and buses driving on the right side of the street instead of the left, complains Guardian writer Stephen Bates. It refers to the nonexistent "college of law"at Oxford, among other hints of cluelessness.
"So bad it's awful, toe-curlingly, teeth-furringly, pillow-bitingly ghastly," writes Bates. "it will probably be a smash."
"There are positives," says Godwin. "It is recognizably a film, in that it takes place on a screen. Events run in a forward direction." He predicts that British viewers "will cherish it in ways its makers could scarcely have envisaged."
The movie, which will be aired in Britain five days before the wedding, is directed by Mark Rosman and was made on a small budget after the couple announced their engagement in November. UCLA stands in for St. Andrews, the university in Scotland where the couple met.
It follows their story, starting with Prince Charles (played by Ben Cross of "Star Trek") bidding his son goodbye as he leaves for university. There, he soon meets Kate, who says, "I know who you are."
As in real life, he attends a fashion show where Kate wears a see-through dress. In the movie, he tells pals, "Kate's hot!"
The two break up -- William tells Kate, "I just need some space" -- then get back together and ultimately get engaged.
Queen Elizabeth does not appear in the movie, but it'll be a different story with the next royal wedding TV movie. The Hallmark Channel's "William and Kate: A Royal Love Story," to air in August, will include Emmy winner Jane Alexander as the queen.