Moving forward, at the beginning of this documentary I assumed I was watching an obnoxious take on the nouveau-riche lifestyle of the time-share entrepreneur + once-upon-a-time-ago billionaire David Siegel and his ostentatious blonde hot mess of a wife, Jackie, but boy was I wrong…
The film starts out like an audition for “The Real Housewives of Orlando,” the protagonists happily show off their larger than life abode, live-in staff, personal “zoo”, and a handful of their most prized possessions (no, the camera doesn’t pan to their children, instead private plane). Siegel boasts (circa 2007, obviously) about his booming time-share biz. He gets pleasure out of seducing American families with aggressive sales pitches and dangling a taste of the “luxurious life” in front of them. Little did the Siegel’s know how quickly their lives were going to shift when the financial crisis intervened. This continues to be a story of how the 1 % (or in this case the .0000001%) really can loose almost everything, like the inverse of a fairy tale.
Part of the film documents the Siegel’s plan to triple the size of their 26,000-square-foot home (yep, you read that correctly). Since they are a sophisticated bunch, they modeled their home after the French chateau referred to in the movie’s title.
The oblivious nature, disgusting extravagance, and just plain trashy taste that oozed out of “The Queen of Versailles” makes the Siegels appear even worse at a time when many Americans are loosing their homes. Their master bathroom is probably the size of my entire apartment, no joke. With all that said, you can’t help but feel sorry for Jackie, she “invested” all she had on the idea of the American Dream at its most perversely distorted.
I may appear to be rambling about the film, but it’s truly a collage of chaos and you just need to see it to believe it! Check it out if you get a chance this long weekend, the only thing you will be disappointed in is the amount of consumerism.