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In 2008, the Siegel family was top of the heap with the wealthy and politically influential David Siegel running the successful Westgate Resorts time-share business. To enjoy their good life, he and his engineer turned beauty queen trophy wife, Jackie, were building the largest single family private home in America. Suddenly, both the US economy and Westgate were rocked by the devastating sub-prime mortgage collapse. In the new economic reality with the business teetering on ruin, we follow the Siegels as they struggle to scale down their grotesquely ostentatious lifestyle. For this overprivileged family, accepting that situation proved a dispiriting struggle even as their unfinished dream home became a monument of their superficial values. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
A riches to rags tale with the intimate glimpse into the wealthy lives of David and Jackie Siegel.
Rather than going the been-there-done-that route of a rags to riches story, director Lauren Greenfield accidentally (yet exquisitely) delivers a riches to rags tale with the intimate glimpse into the wealthy lives of David and Jackie Siegel. As the president and CEO of the largest timeshare corporation in the country, David is the epitome of the American dream, and his beauty pageant/trophy wife is living proof. While the film's initial purpose was to document the development of their 90,000 sq. ft. home (the largest in America), once the financial crisis of 2008 impacted banks globally, David soon finds his entire empire in jeopardy. Greenfield captures the highs and lows of being in the top 1%, even though most of the bottom 99% would love to give it a shot no matter the repercussions. (I always did want an ice rink in my home.) It's fascinating to watch the discourse between Mr. & Mrs. Siegel, two individuals who came from poverty, but have different interpretations of the importance of life. Watching the chaotic roller-coaster that is Jackie Siegel allows audiences the chance to laugh at the elite. At one moment you emphasize with the princess billionaire with the heart of gold, but once she attempts to classify herself as the "average" person, one can only watch with resentment. Either way, Greenfield, offers a crowd-pleasing documentary that leaves a lasting impression on audiences.
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