Saturday, August 18, 2012

Queen of Versailles: A Riches to Rags Story

When we first meet Jackie and David Siegel, they're joyously building the largest single-family dwelling in the country. Fashioned after the palace of Versailles, it's what this Orlando, Florida couple believes their family of eight children, countless canines, and huge staff deserves and needs.

Think of it as the American Dream on steroids.

Jackie is 42 and a former beauty contestant. David, 30 years her senior, is a businessman who built a time-share empire.

At first glance, they're an odd couple. Not so. In fact, they bring to life the old Yiddish expression: "For every pot, there is a lid."

Together, they're the excess express.

Until the 2008 stock market collapse plunges them into relative ruin. Their Versailles remains unfinished. They may even lose their present home, a sprawling McMansion with a pool and Rolls Royce driving chauffeur.

Now the movie becomes more interesting. And infinitely sadder.

Jackie and David are hardly the only Americans who've suffered because of the shenanigans of greedy bankers. And they are certainly not among those most egregiously harmed. Still, they pull at your heartstrings. Not because they're victims of a corrupt economy, but because they're victims of their own issues and insecurities —the very same problems that led them to believe they needed their very own Versailles.

1 comment:

Deon Narine said...

Hi,
I think The Queen Of Versailles is a documentary about the largest house in America and the family behind it.

Thanks
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