Serendipity

"Good"

Serendipity Review


Last year John Cusack -- modern Hollywood's most endeari=ngEveryman -- starred in a great guy movie with a romanticcomedy bent that made it the year's best date movie too.

This year's front runner for the same honor is a fate-fue=led,starry-eyed chick flick entitled "Serendipity" -- also starringJohn Cusack, which may help convince otherwise reluctant boyfriends andhusbands to see this sweet, cuddly charmer. They're guaranteed to enjoyit if they give it half a chance.

Cusack plays an ESPN segment director who meets the girlof his dreams (British girl-next-door Kate Beckinsale) in a Christmas shopp=ingshowdown over the last pair of black cashmere gloves at Bloomingdale's.Instantly smitten, they spend the day together, at one point ice skatingin Central Park and playing the getting-to-know-you game of favorites:"Favorite New York moment?" Beckinsale asks. "This one'sclimbing the charts," Cusack grins winningly.

But Beckinsale is a big believer in kismet, so when they'=refrequented by a series of wild coincidences all day long, she decides toleave their potential amour in the hands of destiny. She makes him writehis phone number on a five-dollar bill, then spends it at a newsstand.She in turn puts her digits in a front page of a book she's reading andsells it to a used bookstore. If they're meant to be together, she sayswith a twinkle in her eye, his bill or her book will find its way to theother person.

Cusack isn't satisfied with this prospect at all, so sheoffers one concession -- each of them takes a glove from the pair Cusackfinally won in their battle at Bloomie's -- and one more game: They eachride an elevator at the Waldorf Astoria. If they get off on the same floor,it's meant to be.

By the time Cusack is done searching that hotel floor byfloor, the movie's romantic chemistry has become so irresistible that you'llbe breathless hoping he finds her.

Several years later -- dang it! -- Cusack is engaged toa Manhattan society sweetie (Bridget Moyhahan) but still habitually stoppingin used bookstores. Beckinsale has become a shrink in San Francisco, andwhile she's lost all her faith in fate, she has fallen in love with a NewAge Jazz luminary ("Sex In the City's" John Corbett doing a hilar=iousKenny G. send-up). Both on the verge of marriage, cold feet set in, sendingthem on a desperate last-ditch search for each other.

Director Peter Chisholm ("TheMighty," "Town & Country")has the perfect touch for the frustratingly funny near-misses that drivethe rest of this ambrosial romance. Charging through Manhattan, draggingtheir best friends (comic relief specialists Jeremy Piven and Molly Shannon)along for moral support, Cusack and Beckinsale pet the same dog only ablock apart. She unknowingly bumps into his film crew shooting pick-upfootage at a golf driving range where he did a story the day before --and where an arrant ball from his fianc=E9e's father knocks Shannon on thenoggin.

As it turns out, Shannon and the fianc=E9e are childhoodfriends, which leads to an invitation to Cusack's wedding -- at the Waldorf,no less. Of course Beckinsale doesn't realize who the groom is and Shannonhas never met him.

Meanwhile, Cusack discovers he has the receipt for thegloves -- with Beckinsale's Bloomingdale account number on it. He dashesto the store to accost a salesclerk (Eugene Levy) trying to glean her nameand number. Even if it's out of date, it would be a lead. Behind on hiscommissions, the clerk agrees to help only after Cusack buys a $700 velvetsuit.

The will-they-ever-meet concept behind "Serendipity&=quot;may not be all that original, but this picture isn't a "SleeplessIn Seattle"-style sickeningly saccharine confection. The relentlesslyromantic sweetness here has a refreshing touch of sardonic humor runningthrough it, and its significant-other characters are not clearly incompatib=lecardboard cutouts from central casting. Beckinsale's intended, for example,is an incredibly byronic, unselfish guy who abandons his concert tour tosurprise her in New York (not knowing why she's there) just because hemisses her. And Cusack explains to Piven that his fianc=E9e is like "T=heGodfather Part II" -- just as good as the original, but just not thesame.

As for the leads, Cusack sticks to his appealing, tradema=rkedway of personifying the easy going id of the American male -- which isfine because he's great at it -- and Beckinsale, a versatile actress nowknown best for "PearlHarbor," plays the kind of dreamy, insta=ntlydelightfully darling that put her on the map in British pictures like "ColdComfort Farm" and "ShootingFish."

"Serendipity's" only real downfall is that it'sso focused on closing the circle of cute coincidence that it barrels rightpast an obvious, logical and perfectly romantic ending to conclude fiveminutes later in a way that's serviceable and winsome, but exasperatinglyover-scripted to conform to the formula.



Serendipity

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th October 2001

Box Office USA: $50.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $77.5M

Budget: $28M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Tapestry Films, Miramax Films, Simon Fields Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%
Fresh: 77 Rotten: 54

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jonathan Trager, as Sara Thomas, as Dean Kansky, as Halley Buchanan, as Bloomingdale's Salesman, Lilli Lavine as Bloomingdale's Stock Girl, Michael Guarino Jr. as Customer at Bloomingdale's, Abdul Alshawish as Customer at Bloomingdale's, Stephen Bruce as Host at Serendipity, David Sparrow as Josh's Dad, Ann Talman as Bloomingdale's Saleswoman #1, Crystal Bock as Bloomingdale's Saleswoman #2, Kate Blumberg as Courtney Kansky, Gary Gerbrandt as Josh, Ron Payne as Louis Trager, Marcia Bennett as Mrs. Louis Trager, as Eve

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.