Serendipity (2001)

Comedy, Romance
John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Bridget Moynahan
A couple reunite years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together.
Light and charming, Serendipity could benefit from less contrivances.
  • Miramax Films Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 05 Oct 2001 Released:
  • 09 Apr 2002 DVD Release:
  • $50.0M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

A Beautiful Love Story With a Very Charming Couple7/10
Jonathan Tragger (John Cusack) meets Sara Thomas (the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale) by chance in the Christmas eve, in Bloomingdale's, both trying to buy the unique pair of black gloves available for sale. They decide to go to the cafeteria Serendipity and Jonathan asks for her name and phone. Sara decides to write it in a book, and his on a five dollars bill. She gives the bill to a newspaperman and she says that she would sell the book in a New York used books store. She states that if destiny wants them two together, Jonathan will get that book back. Or she will receive that bill again. From this day on, Jonathan will 'chase' Sara's book trying to reach his lost love.

I did not know the word 'serendipity'. In accordance with Webster' dictionary, it means 'an apparent aptitude for making accidental fortunate discoveries'. The character of Sara believes on it, but regrets for her belief in the end of the story. This is the typical predictable and commercial film, but supported by a very charming actress (Kate Beckinsale) and actor (John Cusack). I am a suspicious viewer to make any comment in this regard, since I love Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack. But I really believe there is no way that any viewer dislikes this movie. The cover of the DVD is also very beautiful. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Escrito ans Estrelas" ("Written in the Stars")
Enchanting romantic comedy9/10

This charming romantic comedy has all the right ingredients and serves up a bouillabaisse of schmaltzy romance and slapstick fun. Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet in Bloomingdales when they both want to purchase the same pair of gloves. The attraction is instant and they spend a romantic evening cavorting around New York City together. At the end of the evening John wants to see her again, but Sara decides that if it is fate that they should be together, they will find each other again. She drives away in a cab and he never sees her again. Well, almost never.

Years go by and both of them are about to be married, but each still has this nagging feeling that the other was his/her one true love. Of course fate conspires to bring them back together (after about a dozen near misses) as they each simultaneously undertake one last attempt to find one another just before they get married to someone else.

The fate angle is plowed mercilessly, almost to the point of nausea, but the skits are funny and the chemistry between Cusack and Beckinsale is enchanting. Cusack is an expert at playing the tortured and neurotic lover, but here he is more haunted and forlorn than dysfunctional, and it plays much better than his previous two characters in `High Fidelity' and `America's Sweethearts'.

Kate Beckinsale rocketed from obscurity to prominence with her performance in `Pearl Harbor' and proves to be a wonderful romantic lead in this film. She is breezy and adorable and spins a delightful web around Jonathan and the viewer. The film also benefits from outstanding comedic support from Jeremy Piven as Jonathan's best friend and devoted Sara sleuth. Piven's zany comedy proves to be the perfect complement to Cusack's wry despondency. Eugene Levy is a scream as the eccentric Bloomingdales salesman, who blackmails Jonathan into buying half the store to give him information from Sara's charge account.

All in all, this is an entertaining comedy that is insubstantial but delectable. I tend to give romantic comedies a little more slack, because I'm a sucker for this slush, and this is one of the better ones I've seen in a while so I rated it a 9/10. This lighthearted romp makes a great date flick, but if serious drama is your preference stay away.
Fortunate Accident!9/10
The first time I've seen this movie, I knew I'd add it to my "classics", and here it is. Kate Beckinsale shows her talent -finally- within the movie by blending right into the act of John Cusack. Since I'm in love with these kind of movie scripts, the movie got me in its clasp as I've heard Armstrong's deep voice in the beginning. As the movie starts, the movie's philosophy starts to reveals itself through a pair of black Kashmir gloves. The fact that love will find a way through it all is buzzing all around the movie and makes you feel warmer even though it's winter and snowing. The ice skating section and the ending section on the same "floor" are wondrous moments which any people would like to live - which makes the movie closer to the audience. The thought of someone "right around the corner" waiting for you is all around the movie and makes you feel like go out and find "them". A really cute story with a good sense of humor. Deserves my 9! I just LOVE watching it!
Cusack and Beckinsale Make It Work9/10

Magic happens, if you let it; and sometimes even fate or destiny-- or whatever you want to call it-- steps in to lend a hand. But when it concerns love, and finding that special person you're going to spend the rest of your life with, should you risk tempting fate with a test of that love or what is seemingly meant to be, or should you just follow your apparent destiny and embrace it? Such are the questions two people must face and answer in the romantic comedy/drama `Serendipity,' directed by Peter Chelsom. Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) is shopping for a gift for his girlfriend, and Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) is looking for something for her boyfriend when they reach for the same pair of gloves on a rack at Bloomingdales. And the wheels of fate are quickly turning. Or are they? Jonathan and Sara proceed to spend the next few hours together, including a romantic interlude skating in New York's Central Park, and there are definite sparks flying between them. For Jonathan, it's a significant emotional experience, and he realizes something has happened, that something has changed in his life; Sara feels the same, but being a true believer in destiny, she needs a sign that this is meant to be before she'll consider pursuing whatever it is that's just happened between them. So she puts it to the test. And for Jonathan, knowing only that her name is Sara, it's the beginning of an odyssey-- a quest-- to find true love with the woman he already knows in his heart of hearts that he wants to share his life with. For Sara, it's the beginning of a search for love, and for that one special person she knows is destined to be her soul mate forever. They both find, however, that the path to pure love is filled with every obstacle the known universe could possibly place in their way. And is the journey worth it? Well, in the end, it all comes down to what fate has predetermined. Or does it?

In the tradition of such films as `Sleepless In Seattle' and `You've Got Mail,' Chelsom has fashioned a truly romantic tale of two people who are absolutely destined to be together, no matter what. And-- as the audience knows early on-- nothing less will be acceptable. Hanks and Ryan may be missing, but the charismatic Cusack and the beguiling Beckinsale more than make up for it, carving out their own niche in the genre with this outing, and Chelsom has just enough of that Nora Ephron touch (including the use of music, matching the perfect song with every situation) to make it work. The chances of things ever happening in real life the way they do in this movie are about twice as remote as winning the lottery, but who cares? This is a heartwarming fable about love-- about the way we `want' love to be-- and it's delivered with an endearing care that makes it emotionally involving, entertaining and a thoroughly satisfying experience. And there's not a whole lot more you can ask of a movie, I think.

Cusack is so likable, and manages to convey the bedevilment of his situation with such facility, that the viewer is unequivocally drawn in from the beginning. You want things to work out for this guy-- and Sara, as well; and, of course, you're pretty confident from the outset they are going to. But along the way they make you feel something; they enable you to share the frustration as well as the elation that comes with discovering love, and perhaps finding that better part of yourself at the same time. And the fact that Cusack makes Jonathan so believable, and someone with whom you can identify, has more than a lot to do with it. It's a quality performance from an actor with the flexibility and range to do just about anything, and who never disappoints.

The other half of the equation for success, of course, belongs to Beckinsale, who is not only beautiful, but a good actor who infuses her character with a touch of mystery and complexity that makes her winsome and interesting. Like Cusack's Jonathan, Sara is someone you can root for; you want to see her get what she wants and what she deserves. This isn't a perfect world we live in, and we all know it; but for Sara and Jonathan you want it to be. There's a chemistry between the two of them, and they make it so easy for you to project your own feelings and desires into their situation, that there's no getting around it. If they win, you win. It's that simple. And even though they take you over some rough spots along the way, it's a fun trip and Beckinsale and Cusack-- Sara and Jonathan-- make it a journey worth taking.

The supporting cast includes Molly Shannon, Jeremy Piven, Bridget Moynahan and Eugene Levy (who is terrific-- and hilarious-- as a sales clerk at Bloomingdales). A handsome film that touches all the right nerves and pushes all the right buttons, `Serendipity' has a gentle sensibility about it that addresses the notions of romance and love that reside within us all. And it's refreshingly presented in a way that is pure and inoffensive; and as such it allows you to open up and embrace something of value without having to apologize for it, and without implying you have to be `hip' to appreciate it. Because it's all about love and sharing love, which is something we can all use a little more of in this world we live in today. And that's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.






enjoyable escapism8/10

Jonathan and Sara bump into each other while Christmas shopping in Bloomingdale's, when they both grab the same pair of black cashmere gloves at the same time. They go for coffee at a cafe named Serendipity which, Jonathan discovers, is Sara's favourite word. A firm believer in the power of fate, she refuses to give Jonathan her phone number – instead, she writes her name and number inside the cover of a book, which she then sells to a secondhand bookshop, telling him that if they are meant to be together, the book will find its way to him. Likewise, she makes him write his number on a banknote, which she promptly spends, telling him that if fate decrees it, the note will find its way back to her. A few years on, Jonathan and Sara are both engaged to other people, but each keeps thinking about whether the other is their true soulmate, and then they start to see signs which they interpret as the fates trying to tell them something…

This is a charming romantic comedy – a heavy suspension of reality is required, but that's surely part of the point. Sara's willingness to leave her future to fate slightly beggars belief, but Beckinsale manages to make Sara appealing enough. It's prettily shot and perfectly paced – the movie never flags but everything pitches along perfectly towards the inevitable but agreeable conclusion (it also keeps itself to a restrained 90 minutes, which seems increasingly unusual among modern movies). Cusack is, as always, utterly adorable, with more sex appeal than 100 Brad Pitts. A little bit of perfect escapism.