I was going to do a cliche pun on the term queen, but then decided to make an Arrested Development (2003-2005) reference because a voice inside me was saying 'you can, so do'. I am talking about something nothing to do with that nugget of wonderful television, but a new documentary (well, not new, it premiered last January called The Queen of Versailles (2012). It follows the eccentric lives of Timeshare mogul David Seigel who is not unlike notorious embezzler/worst human being of all time next to Hitler, Bernie Madoff. More importantly, it focuses on his wife Jackie, who is also not unlike any given Real Housewife, only smarter and yet worse not only as an excessive narcissist and materialistic shrew.
The two share a San Simeon-esque type of estate, not nestled in the valley of San Luis Opisbo, but in the marshlands of Orlando, FLA, or as I refer to it, God's waiting room. We all know that an American self-made man loves to basically show off his money and scream it into the face of whomever is willing, and usually has deplorable taste. And that is exactly the stereotype that David Seigel lives up to.
|Mrs. Seigel and her eight kids. Watch the full film and she'll tell you just why she has so many.|
David Seigel is his generation's William Randolph Hearst, a man with too much money, not enough empathy, and minimal regard for anyone around him. He is always about acquisition and superiority, which eventually lead to his demise because below the facade of large and grand material things, his life is more or less empty. Filling that empty void, to an extent is the Queen of Versailles, Jackie Seigel, his wife. She is so called because the house, rather estate that the two set out to build was named after the palace of Louis XIV of the 17th century. Now, I know what you're thinking, who is classless enough as to try to replicate one of the most famous landmarks of the world's history and the answer is a billionaire white trash couple in the Everglades.
Well long story short, you can guess what happens. What does Timeshare offer? Expensive real estate sold as vacations at 10% when it's worth 90% of the original cost. Why did the stock market crash? Real Estate sold at 10% when it was worth as 90%, so who went under? David Seigel. What happened to his mansion Versailles (which was bigger than the white house by the way) it got put up for sale? Did anyone buy it? What do you think.
Anywho...just watch it. It's one of those that I cannot find any snide, cynical, or pessimistic comments that would make it stand on end. This is a film that needs none of that. So I suppose this serves as an introduction.