The Queen of Versailes

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queen of versailes

You’ll never think about buying timeshares (or breasts) again.

Documentarian Lauren Greenfield really got lucky with this one. It’s much like the guy who filmed all of LeBron James high school basketball games, and then had an interesting documentary on his hands.

That was the best basketball player in the world. This documentary deals with the biggest house in the United States. And the stats that they’d put on the back of the basketball card of the house: 90,000 square feet, 2 tennis courts, bowling alley, movie theatre, baseball field, ice rink, 10 kitchens (with $5 million in marble from China), and a window alone that cost $250,000!

You should be happy for Jackie Siegel, the former Miss Florida that grew up with only one bathroom now getting to have 30; but talk about living well beyond your means.

Since this movie is getting raved reviews (as well it should), I wonder how these same critics can knock anybody that likes those crappy reality shows (Kardashians, JerseyShore, Real Housewives, etc). This blends elements of all those.

Jackie is 43, but looks 63 with all the facelifts.

They are all such annoying boobs in this documentary. That goes for the things on her chest, as well as her many children and husband David. He got rich building timeshares. Kind of hard to feel sorry for a guy losing everything, when he’s getting poor schnooks to invest in a timeshare they don’t need or can’t afford.

When the economy goes down the train, the Siegels start facing economic challenges that many folks have. Instead of delicious meals the cook prepares, it’s drive thru McDonald’s (although she still does it in a limo). And who would think you’d hear the phrase “I want 50 Chicken McNuggets with all the sauces, and two Diet Cokes,” in anything other than a Morgan Spurlock documentary?

You certainly have moments of empathy. Jackie tries to help her friend save a house, she runs a charity, and she loved her dogs so much…she has two of them stuffed and sitting around the house.

Considering their plight, she sure is upbeat. Even when her husband is yelling at her to turn off the lights to save electricity or complaining about her recent shopping spree (which has gone from Neiman Marcus to Wal-Mart)…she seems happy with her lot in life.

One thing I found out about rich people. They don’t like cleaning up dog sh**.

I was intrigued by the various other characters that pop up. There’s a maid from the Philippines that breaks your heart. There is a new bratty kid that comes to live with the family. We briefly meet a limo driver that often borrows the Rolls for events on his own. We find out he had millions in property and lost it all. And who could forget the lizard? I won’t tell ya about his fate. You’ll have to see the movie.

What becomes of the house? Well, they want to sell it for $75 million. That means there’d have to be a rich guy that wants to finish building it and move to Orlando.

I heard that David Siegel sued Sundance (where Greenfield won a directing award) and the film’s producer. He claimed that the film’s description was defamatory. But hey…it’s his own son that works for him, telling the cameraman about their bizarre relationship.

I wonder if his wife watched this and realized how insane she looked and sounded. She mentions spending $1 million a year shopping, and how she once bought a pair of boots for $17,000. She sits eating an expensive caviar on Christmas morning, as kids are opening presents purchased at Wal-Mart (that they don’t seem to like).

In the movie Ted, people were laughing so hard you often couldn’t hear the next few lines. In this documentary, people laughed really hard – but at the most unusual times. A scene that may be sad to one person, made another laugh out loud. And that was yet another enjoyable aspect to this movie.

It gets 4 out of 5 stars.