'Queen of Versailles' features biggest home in U.S.
Unless you're a head of state or you've spent lots of time hanging out in country clubs, you've probably never seen anything quite like the home that timeshare king David Siegel of Westgate Resorts and his wife, Jackie, are building in Orlando, Fla.
Appropriately dubbed "Versailles," the Siegels' 90,000-square-foot mansion stands to be the largest single-family private residence in America -- if they ever finish it.
Shot over a three-year period, the new documentary "The Queen of Versailles," opening Friday, documents the couple's years-long efforts to build their dream palace for themselves and their seven children.
From director Lauren Greenfield, it's a fly-on-the-wall portrait of a family grappling with an outlandish version of the American dream. David, 77, and ex-beauty queen Jackie, 46, willingly let Greenfield's camera into their lives, even during their most seemingly out-of-touch moments.
Jackie rides a limo to McDonald's. David brags that he got George W. Bush elected president in 2000 through methods he says might have been illegal.
"Jackie is very comfortable in front of the camera and always was . . . She's really herself, and David is, too," Greenfield says.
The movie takes a surprising turn, though, when it begins to chronicle the significant toll the ongoing recession had on Westgate Resorts and the family's lavish lifestyle.
But "The Queen of Versailles" doesn't trade in schadenfreude and it's not a documentary centered on mocking the 1% at its most excessive.
"There's something about David and Jackie's character -- their virtues and their flaws allow us to see our own," Greenfield says. "There's something humanizing and humbling about that."