Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo Credit: Lauren Greenfield
Despite the fact that Queen of Versailles has a 95% fresh rating at RottenTomatoes.com, none of the many reviews I’ve read really explain the class issues of the movie which probably underlies why SWPL move reviewers like this movie so much.
The movie started out being about “billionaire” David Siegel’s quest to build the country’s largest private house, loosely modeled after the palace of Versailles.
What none of the mainstream reviews mention is that Siegel may be rich, but he is prole through and through. When a prole becomes super-rich, he doesn’t stop being a prole.
The main character in the documentary is not David, but his trophy wife Jackie who is thirty years younger and if anything she is more prole than her husband. Jackie grew up in a prole family in Binghamton New York, mysteriously graduated from R.I.T. with a degree in engineering (she must have been barely smart enough to graduate), but quickly realized what a boring career that was and moved to New York City and became a model.
As I’ve written before, proles typically are lousy at choosing spouses, and she definitely proves that point because her first rich husband beat her. David, himself, could have chosen a more practical second wife, because Jackie is only good at spending his money on prole crap, but David is a guy who seems to spend a lot of time thinking with his penis. David says at one point that his wife is like having an extra child around the house. Not mentioned in the movie is that David previously lost a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by one of his former employees.
Jackie, who is thirty years younger than her husband, dresses like she’s starring in some MILF porn video (at least before the MILF starts taking off her clothes). Every outfit she wears scandalously shows off her large, presumably surgically augmented, breasts. Jackie has a pack of effeminately-groomed white-haired dogs who have not been very well house trained. And a pack of seven children plus her niece. Jackie has a closet full of hundreds of pairs of shoes. She buys food at McDonalds and shops at Walmart, both places that more upper-class woman would never go near if there was a camera filming them.
It’s interesting to observe how her daughters are very prole in both their sense of style and their body types (in other words they are kind of chunky, reminding me of Bristol Palin but not as pretty). Private school didn’t rub off on them. Maybe it’s because they live in Orlando and not in a rich enclave such as Palm Beach.
These are definitely people that the typical SWPL movie reviewer can look down on and feel superior to, even though they are filthy rich. It further helps the story that Siegel is a well-known supporter of Republicans, which makes him even that much more disgusting. I have to agree that it’s a sad indictment of the Republican Party that the majority of the super-rich vote Democratic, and the ones who vote Republican are classless proles like David Siegel.
David Siegel didn’t become rich by inventing something or manufacturing computers. Nope, he made his money in real estate, specifically in selling time-sharing vacations. The movie shows how his operation works. Proles on vacation in places such as Las Vegas are enticed into viewing a presentation on the time-sharing resort in return for some free gift, and then a member of the prole sales staff applies high-pressure sales tactics to get the prole vacationers to purchase a timeshare they may not even be able to afford, but they only need to put 10% down and the banks finance the rest. It’s a scam-based business model.
The problem with David’s business is that it was heavily leveraged, and when the 2008 financial crisis hit, it didn’t work out so well. I get the impression that David could have given his prized Las Vegas property to the banks at a big loss, and by so de-levering he could have walked away quite rich, but he stubbornly refused to do that and as a result he was unable to continue to finance his opulent lifestyle, including the construction of his Versailles-like house in Orlando. In fact, he has to cut costs by firing all of his servants except for two nannies and a driver, and putting his kids into public school. Jackie doesn’t take well to being put on a budget because she is unable to stop buying crap that she doesn’t need. In contrast, David doesn’t care so much about the crap, he wants to be rich so he can feel superior to other men and have a trophy wife.