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Serendipity

Director:Peter Chelsom
Writer:Marc Klein
Miramax; PG-13; 87 minutes
Release:10/01
Cast:John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven

Serendipity isn't the result of a pleasant coincidence, but rather a shrewd calculation: place top-notch actors alongside a contrived star-struck lovers' script and the results will be a hit. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale explore (exploit?) romantic fate with confidence. Sara and Jon meet in Bloomingdale's, spend the perfect afternoon together at trouble-free Manhattan tourist sites, and part ways just as suddenly as they hit it off. Nothing will become of it, for they each are involved with other people. As they say goodbye, Sara upends Jon's request for contact info. She jots down her phone number in a book—which she sells, and accepts his number on a five dollar bill—which she spends. Any future meetings are in destiny's hands.

As quick as you can say “romantic comedy” a decade passes. Sensible Sara has drifted to San Francisco. Jon's still in Manhattan, penning obituaries. Both face their impending marriages with the ever-popular what-if question. Jon's sleuthing sets off a humorous game of love lost-and-found. Cusack plays his trademark character, a sensitive guy whose light philosophizing is tempered by wit. Beckinsale's Sara is more practical, but none the less smitten. Their lovers and obligatory sidekicks are in the right mood for Serendipity. It all comes together with an enjoyable smoothness.


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