FEEL GOOD FILM FOR THIS VIRUS WEEK.
Usually, the chase is the most interesting part of movie romances. In Serendipity, the chase goes on for years.
Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet in 1990 while Christmas shopping at Bloomingdales. They both want the same pair of cashmere gloves and after a couple of flirty smiles, they go out for hot chocolate together.
Winter in New York is magical at the Serendipity, an ice cream parlor like pastry shop where they sip their drinks, and at the skating rink where the couple twirls under falling snow and even at the majestic Waldorf-Astoria; New York makes an enchanting setting for falling instantly in love. Director Peter Chelsom (Town & Country) shows the Great City at its best.
Jonathan wants to see Sara again, even though both are seeing other people, but Sara believes that if it’s meant to be, fate will cause them to meet again.
So before they part, Sara writes her name and phone number inside a book flap that she’ll give to a used book store and she asks Jonathan to write his name and number on a five dollar bill that Sara immediately spends at a nearby newsstand. Then she leaves allowing destiny to take over.
Fast forward to today and now Sara lives in San Francisco and is engaged to a nice guy (John Corbett – Sex and the City) who’s a New Age musician, and Jonathan is about to marry a striking brunette (Bridget Moynahan). Although they are perfectly wonderful people, Sara and Jonathan are still looking for their soul mates.
Over time, Jonathan has looked in every bookstore for Sara’s book and she, in turn, has inspected every five dollar bill that crossed her palm, to no avail. Until that fateful day arrives when all the stars align and the couple meet again.
Even though we know they’re going to find one another, it’s the search that makes it fun. Jonathan enlists his best friend Dean (the wonderful Jeramy Piven) to help him find Sara. They computer search, track down old apartment addresses and look up previous landlords. Even Dean gets caught up in Jonathan’s passion, and at one point, spearheads the search.
Cusack, not matinee idol handsome, is instead puppy dog cute and his looks play well off Kate’s sophisticated beauty. They make a lovely pair.
As friends go, you couldn’t ask for a better one than Piven plays. He’s naturally easy-going, fun-loving, and loyal. As is Sara’s friend, Eve (Molly Shannon – Saturday Night Live).
Eugene Levy is also great as a by-the-book Bloomingdale’s clerk. His small role is responsible for most of the laughs.
You might find that you don’t believe in so many coincidences piled one on another but check your skepticism at the door and enjoy a charming little romance.