I really like this film and I don’t care who knows. That being said, I’m in no way claiming this is a super duper romantic comedy. It is actually quite trying at times with all the dragging out and coincidences that happen. What it does have going for it is the likability of the two leads and the idea that if you are meant to be with someone it will happen despite all the odds. Magic and destiny are great things to believe in when it comes to romance.
It is Christmastime in New York City. The chaos of pre-Christmas shopping at Bloomingdales is going on. Sara (Kate Beckinsale – Total Recall – 2012, Underworld) and Jonathan (John Cusack – Say Anything, Being John Malkovich) both grab for the last pair of black cashmere gloves. After striking up a conversation the two go to Serendipity for a hot chocolate. Though both have significant others the chemistry is undeniable. Jonathan wants her phone number or at least her name, but she just says that if they’re meant to meet again they will.
Later on they both go back to Serendipity at the same time having forgotten something there. Decide to do something else together so they go ice skating. Before parting, Sara writes her name and number inside a copy of Love In the Time of Cholera. She will sell it at a used book store and if Jonathan finds the book then it’s a sign they were meant to be together. Jonathan then writes his name and number on a $5 bill with the same proviso.
A couple of years pass, Jonathan is now engaged to Halley (Bridget Moynahan – from television’s Blue Bloods). Obviously though, he is still thinking of Sara. Because when he passes a used book vendor he looks inside the cover of a copy of Love In the Time of Cholera. Sara is working as a therapist in California and has just gotten engaged to her boyfriend, Lars (John Corbett – from television’s Sex and the City).
Jonathan is tormented by the fact he keeps hearing the name Sara and it is only three days before his wedding. He talks his best friend Dean (Jeremy Piven – from television’s Entourage) into helping him try and find Sara. Sara is still looking on the back of $5 bills. She tells Lars she needs a break and takes her best friend Eve (Molly Shannon – from television’s Saturday Night Live) to New York City.
Close calls and signs from the love gods begin occurring.
Despite the fact that they are actually onscreen very little together Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack have great chemistry. Even though he is not stereotypically handsome there is something really attractive about John Cusack. Most women find him attractive. The characters he portrays always seem so believable and relatable. He always makes us want things to work out for him. Cusack never disappoints. Kate Beckinsale is so beautiful it takes your breath away, so she has that going for her. Her character of Sara is also intelligent and that little bit left of centre that makes her interesting. The two make this sometimes tiring trip one worth taking.
They are aided by the direction of Peter Chelsom (Shall We Dance, The Mighty), who obviously comes from the Nora Ephron school of romantic comedy. It doesn’t matter that in reality the chances of real life working out like it does in this film are remote to say the least. Who cares?!? The only thing that matters is that the story is engaging making the viewer want the two leads to end up together. We all want love to work and despite all the roadblocks and potholes it does in Serendipity.
-Feature Commentary with Director Peter Chelsom
-Sneak Peeks of Serendipity Soundtrack, Soapnet Promo, Bounce, About Adam, Bridget Jones’s Diary