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Madonna's 'W.E.' only for those interested in royal history

February 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
In limited release on Friday, Madonna steps behind the camera as the director, co-writer and co-producer of "W.E." The film is centered around the fabled romance of the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor, but with a second storyline about a young woman obsessed with their love story.

The romance of Britain's King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson is played out James D'Arcy and Andrea Riseborough.

The film goes back and forth from England in the mid-1930s to 1998 New York, where we find Abbie Cornish as a wife trapped in a terrible marriage. She becomes fascinated with an upcoming auction of the duke and duchess' estate.

"W.E." is for fans of the duke and duchess love story, and Madonna is clearly a fan. If you don't care, I can't imagine you'd care about this.

Men might be less interested in this movie because it feels, at times, like a romance novel.

As a writer, this clearly has Madonna's mark because you can envision her speaking the lines of both leading ladies as if she would have played one of them if she were younger.

At times, "W.E." has an almost melodramatic feel. Danielle Steele would be proud.

The film is somewhat predictable, and I was OK with that. It also weaves together well going back and forth in time.

I give Madonna credit for trying, and you can see the passion, but I think you'll only feel it if you're into the royal history.