Main cast: John Cusack (Jonathan Trager), Kate Beckinsale (Sara Thomas), Jeremy Piven (Dean), Molly Shannon (Eve), John Corbett (Lars Hammond), Bridget Moynahan (Halley Buchanan), and Eugene Levy (Macall Polay)
Director: Peter Chelsom
Serendipity is a charming, sweet romantic comedy that brings a wide smile to my face. The plot is bonkers in a really over-the-top way, and the ending scenes are rushed to the point of being incoherent, but for the most while, it’s such a sweet movie.
I still think the hero Jonathan Trager is in love with his best buddy Dean and vice versa.
Jonathan meets Sara one night in the mad Christmas shopping rush of Bloomingdales. They both want the same black cashmere gloves, but end up eating ice creams together instead. They have their own lives and significant others, but the attraction is so strong that it’s fate, people. Fate!
Sara writes Jonathan’s name and phone number on a dollar note and immediately buys something with it. If she gets this note one day, she’ll know they are destined to be together and give him a call. She writes her name and phone number and all on Gabriel Garcia Marquez book which she will sell to a used-book store. If he finds that book, well, they’re meant to be together.
These two are so sweet together, I tell you I actually buy the whole premise without thinking of asking them to just jump off the Empire State Building and be done with it.
After some aborted elevator test with fate thing (don’t ask), they part. Awww.
A few years later, both are getting married to other people. But Jon has to find her before he marries Halley, because… well, he wants to be sure that Sara’s not the real thing. Sara too is feeling doubts about her engagement to a very busy musician and she too decides to look for Jon. Jon drags his best buddy Dean and Sara her friend Eve (Molly Shannon looking horribly aged and dowdy – what happened?).
What happens is a very, very stretch-your-disbelief series of coincidences. That I’m okay. Jon is sweet. Sara is sweet. I get diabetes and cavities all the while smiling like an idiot. They are so sweet, so romantic! And the cinematography is beautiful. For a romantic comedy, this movie has the charm, chemistry, dialogues, and cuteness without getting too affected just right.
It is unfortunate then that the movie doesn’t let Jon and Sara find each other on their own. The coincidence trail follows all the way to the ending. Maybe that’s with keeping with the theme of this movie, but it also gives this impression that love is just something you can’t control.
Serendipity is a near perfect romantic comedy – just what I need for a quick lift-me-up. Sweet, fluffy, and oh so charming, this movie works like magic. And check out Eugene Levy’s just hilarious role as a Bloomingdales salesperson!