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'William & Kate' is a royal snooze

Camilla Luddington (Kate Middleton) and Nico Evers-Swindell (Prince

Camilla Luddington (Kate Middleton) and Nico Evers-Swindell (Prince William) star in the Lifetime Original Movie William & Kate. Premieres Monday, April 18, at 9pm ET/PT, on Lifetime Television. Photo Credit: Jack Zeman /2011 Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Jack Zeman /2011 Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, All Rights Reserved./


A royal wedding approaches, you may have heard.


Monday night at 9 on Lifetime

The future king of England (Nico Evers-Swindell) arrives at the University of St. Andrews so he can "be myself and blend in." Not likely: Crowds appear, and a sign is held aloft -- "Marry me William!" reads one -- while the other future king of England, Charles (Ben Cross) winces.

Fact is, everyone on campus wants to meet William for their own reasons, but there is someone named Kate Middleton (Camilla Luddington), who at first resists his considerable charms -- mostly because she has a boyfriend already.

Meanwhile, William thinks of transferring to Cambridge, but dad says no -- "my family compares changing schools to abdicating" -- and the rest is tabloid history. Kate and Will fall in love, move in together, have a falling out, get back together, avoid the paps, have another falling out, get back together again, and finally he puts the rock on the finger. Cue to the sound of a thousand synth-violins.

MY SAY This shouldn't come as too much of a shock, but "William & Kate" isn't waiting around for critical acclaim -- or, if so, it will be waiting until the moon drops out of the sky. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, either: "W&K" is strictly for those who haven't had a fulfilling day until they've drunk deep at the well of William-Kate tabloid gossip, speculation, reporting or rumormongering. Millions care about these two and their impending nuptials, so you can't fault the timing. either.

But "William & Kate" is so bound to the public record, and so timid to venture much beyond that, that Royals junkies know this story so well they could recite it in their sleep. The movie trots out expository details like a Wikipedia entry, then finally gets interesting in the final five minutes. Seems like a long time to wait for a heartbeat.

BOTTOM LINE A paint-by-the-numbers biopic with the dramatic vitality of a tree stump.


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