The world never seems to get tired of romance comedies, and that is why so many romance comedies are tired. But then comes along Serendipity, a movie that really isn't much different from the rest, except that it is able to get away with coincidence after coincidence because that is the point of the movie.
Serendipity, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, is about two people living on different sides of the country who start searching for each other only days before their individual weddings because they both had the most wonderful night of their lives together several years in the past. The movie is about fate's sense of humor, as the two hopelessly search for each other and several times cross paths, only to miss each other by mere seconds. It is frustrating yet funny, and, like I said, probably wouldn't be as great except for that is the point of the movie.
Like most John Cusack movies, Serendipity has a good script. Cusack has a lot of great lines, and manages to make the audience laugh quite a few times. However, Serendipity really isn't a laugh-out-loud comedy; it is more of a situational comedy, and you really get into the film as the two "lovers" continue to cross paths. It was pretty funny listening to the audience, comprised mainly of teenage girls, gasp every time a coincidence is revealed... it also was quite annoying. But obviously, people were getting into the movie.
I, personally, found myself strangely sitting on the edge of my seat, because Serendipity does a good job of building "suspense." You know that the two have to meet up before the weddings, and you know that they are going to almost meet each other several times earlier in the film, but there really is an adrenaline rush created here. It's strange to describe, especially since I'm talking about a romance comedy, but Serendipity is sort of exciting.
The only thing that bothers me is the thought that if Serendipity wasn't titled what it is, and if I wasn't expecting a movie based on coincidences, that things would have been more dumb than funny. If someone goes and sits down in the movie theater, not knowing what to expect, they might find it pretty stupid that Cusack walks by Beckinsale a good five times in the film without seeing her, or that he sits down on a bench where she has left her jacket, or that Beckinsale's friend (Molly Shannon) turns out to be an old friend of Cusack's fiancé.
Serendipity probably gets away with a few more coincidences than other romance comedies do for name's sake, but going in expecting a quirky comedy like this, I don't really think you can be disappointed. It isn't hilarious, but it is amusing, entertaining and romantic, and fits well with John Cusack's other hits.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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