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Serendipity (2001)

Can Once In A Lifetime Happen Twice?

Directed by:

Peter Chelsolm

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 90 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

Jonathan and Sara (John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale) are two people looking for love. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true – they’re two people looking for GLOVES. You see, both are already paired off with significant others – but what they really want are a pair of gloves. The same pair of black gloves from the Chrimbo sale in Bloomingdale’s, to be precise. And so, that’s how they meet – by first squabbling, and then flirting, over that last pair hanging on the rack.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, an impromptu date ensues, the pair have the time of their secretly-unfulfilled lives and, just as Jonathan starts to think his luck is well and truly in, Sara rushes off without leaving him any contact details. Apparently she thinks it isn’t meant to be, or isn’t written in the stars, or some old guff like that. Women, eh?

A couple of years later and both are about to be wed – Jonathan to the pretty but characterless Halley (Bridget Moynihan) and Sara to some sort of ridiculous lank-haired one-man Kula Shaker tribute act (John Corbett). So, in one last effort at finding out what they might have missed out on, both spend the bulk of the rest of the movie piecing together what few clues they have and searching desperately for their lost “soul mate”.

If you’re thinking it all sounds a bit daft, you are, of course, completely right. For the most part, the film only works if you’re prepared to believe in a string of contrivances and coincidences. But, having said that, it’s just about charming enough to pull it off. Cusack and Beckinsale are an intrinsically likable pair, which makes you want it all to go well for them regardless of how dippy you know the whole thing is. There are also some nicely-written comic scenes, most notably one involving a music video and any of the others to feature Eugene Levy’s uptight shop assistant.

You shouldn’t expect any major surprises from this one – but, then again, if the romantic comedy genre is your thing, you’ll already know that. ‘Serendipity’ does nothing original, but it’s amusing, it’s nice, and it more or less achieves everything it sets out to do.

It's Got: Eugene Levy doing his requisite scene-stealing bit.

It Needs: To make Jonathan’s fiancée a bit more dislikeable – otherwise we’re in danger of feeling a bit sorry for her.

DVD Extras An ‘On The Set’ featurette, some fairly lengthy deleted scenes, a stills gallery, and an audio commentary from Blackpool-born director Peter Chelsom. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Alternatives:

Sleepless in Seattle

Summary

All you need is (g)love(s).

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