Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public.
Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.
Set in 1864, the Court and Government are in turmoil. Queen Victoria remains stricken with grief over Prince Albert’s death and refuses to carry out any public duties.
Her popularity with the British people is waning and there are calls to abolish the Monarchy. As a last resort Sir Henry Ponsonbv, the Queen’s Private Secretary. summons John Brown, her loyal Scottish Attendant, down from Balmoral to walk the Queen’s pony.
Brown’s arrival at Court is the beginning of extraordinary relationship. Rumours of an affair begin to scandalize polite society and a crisis in the Monarchy seems inevitable.
In an attempt to resurrect the slapstick comedy of Laurel and Hardy or The Marx Brothers, Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt team-up as two out-of-work actors who accidentally stowaway on a ship to hide from a drunken, belligerent lead actor who has sworn to kill them for belittling his talents.
Of course, the lead actor end up on the ship as well. Also, a madman (Tony Shalhoub) plots the destruction of the ship and Steve Buscemi is a depressed, suicidal lounge singer named Happy Frank.