REVIEW: The Queen of Versailles

9 08 2012

Who would have thought that the best comedy of the summer would be a documentary?

Sure enough, Lauren Greenfield’s “The Queen of Versailles” captures billionaire trophy wife Jackie Siegel in all of her ridiculousness.  As if her endless supply of busty hooker outfits for every situation weren’t hysterical enough, Greenfield’s camera always seems to catch her at her best.  Or at her worst, depending on your point of view.

She talks about her obscenely ostentatious new home – which, at 90,000 square feet, is the largest in America – as if it’s a shack, always craving more.  She says that once she realized she could hire nannies to take care of her children for her, she decided she wanted to have seven kids!  She’s the E! reality show character who is too good to be true … but she is!

However, her antics aren’t played solely for “Real Housewives”-style humor; rather, Greenfield uses Jackie as an extreme case to test just how far our notions of the American Dream can extend.  Because by all means, she is living it.  From tenement to mansion is the essence of upward mobility, and Jackie’s transition from modest suburban upbringing to her own private Versailles epitomizes the American ideal.  With a little humility, she could be the poster-child for the American dream.

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