25 jul. 2011

My Review: Serendipity (8/10)

¨Serendipity, it`s one of my favorite words. It`s such a nice sounding word for what it means: a fortunate accident.¨

I never thought the time would come in which I`d see this movie because unfortunately I had caught the ending on cable and therefore spoiled the rest of the film. However, I happened to come across Serendipity again and decided to watch it from the beginning this time, and what a pleasure it was. Even though I knew how the story was going to end, it was a delight to watch the story unravel. We know how these romantic movies are going to end most of the time, but the important thing is the story and the chemistry between the lead characters; and Serendipity didn’t disappoint me. I was hooked from the very opening scene in the store, and there seemed to be something magical going on. It didn’t matter whether or not I had seen the ending because the important thing was seeing this romantic story come to life. The chemistry between the two lead roles was really believable. It`s as if I was destined to watch this movie the way I did so that I wouldn’t focus so much on how predictable the movie might be, but rather enjoy the love story and the chemistry between the actors. The dialogue in this film, written by Marc Klein, was also great and there were several memorable lines. In my opinion this is by far Peter Chelsom`s best film thanks to a great dual performance from John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale who really shine together on screen.

 It all happens one magical night: Jonathan (John Cusack) is doing some Christmas shopping for his girlfriend and while grabbing the last remaining pair of black gloves he runs into Sara (Kate Beckinsale) who is also thinking of buying them for her lover. Being the gentleman he is Jonathan insists that Sarah take the gloves, but he can`t help but feel some magical connection between them. They decide to share a drink together at Serendipity and they spend the night getting to know each other, although Sara never reveals her last name to him. She says that if they are meant to be together then fate will make them cross paths again. She writes her full name and phone number on a book cover (¨Love in the Time of Cholera¨) and says she will give it away to a used bookstore. If they are meant to be together then he will be able to find the book; Jonathan does the same thing on a five dollar bill. Unfortunately fate doesn’t give them a hand at first and each goes their separate way. Seven years later Jonathan, who still lives in New York and works for ESPN, is about to get married with Halley (Bridget Moynahan). His best friend, Dean (Jeremy Piven), gives a funny speech on their engagement night, but Jonathan begins to see some signals that remind him of that magical night he shared with Sara. Meanwhile, Sara is living in California and is also about to get married with a New Age musician named Lars (John Corbett). She also begins to get cold feet about the wedding and begins to see some signs that remind her of the night she spent with Jonathan. She decides to travel to New York for the weekend with her best friend, Eve (Molly Shannon), and see if she can find information on Jonathan. Thus the plot thickens and the fun begins.

The chemistry between Beckinsale and Cusack is just unbelievable. Those few scenes they share together at the beginning of the film are so magical that we want the two of them to find their way back together. Somehow we want to believe in fate and soul mates, and these two characters represent just that because we want them to be together even though they both seem to have good relationships with their partners, who don’t play the typical bad boyfriend/girlfriend character. The movie is not all romance; there are also several funny scenes: Piven and Shannon have some memorable comedic scenes. Beckinsale is as beautiful as ever in this film, and Cusack is at his best playing this sort of charismatic role. The entire cast really shines in this film making this love story all that more believable. Serendipity is one of those few romantic Hollywood movies that actually works thanks to a great love story, good performances, and memorable dialogues. We all want to believe in love and how fate can give us a hand when it comes to finding our soul mate; and Serendipity works so well at getting this point across that it can turn the most skeptic person into a believer. It doesn’t matter if the ending is predictable or not, the most important thing about Serendipity is how we get to that finale; learning how to read those signs and enjoying the love story. In my opinion Serendipity will rank among those great romantic films.

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