24 January 2010

Serendipity (starring John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale and Jeremy Piven)


I'm not entirely sure why Amazon recommended 'Serendipity' to me, but I suppose it's in the genre I tend to like - that of lighthearted love stories. So, having been given it as a gift, we sat down to watch it one chilly evening.

It's the story of Jon (john Cusack) and Sarah (Kate Beckinsale) who meet by chance in a department store. Both are in other relationships, and both desperately want to buy the last pair of black gloves in the shop, shortly before Christmas. Despite the battle, there’s an immediate chemistry between them, and as they get talking, they wonder if they might be soulmates… however, since they both have partners already, they decide to allow destiny to guide them.

The film then fast forwards a few years, to find Jon and Sarah living a long distance apart, each about to be married to someone else. Sarah’s fiancĂ© is a strange kind of guy who obviously doesn’t deserve her, but John’s fiancĂ©e, while a little characterless, seems likeable enough.

Suddenly - and here the story takes a strangely dubious tack - Jon and Sarah both become obsessed with finding each other, and a confusing chase ensues, with each of them missing the other by seconds, time and again. Frustrating to watch, in a way, but probably realistic, although I rather assumed from the start that they would probably end up finding each other eventually...


It’s a quirky kind of story with more than a hint of Cinderella: each ends up with one glove, and is searching for the person with the missing one. There are some mild anachronisms – the fact that nobody seems to feel cold when it’s snowing out, for instance – and the number of coincidences seem a little overboard.

Still, the acting is good, the chemistry between the two main actors works, and there’s some light humour. I particularly liked the scenes with Jon and his best friend Dean, excellently played by Jeremy Piven.

All in all, a pleasant movie without too much schmalz for a relaxing evening, if rather unrealistic in storyline.

Rated PG-13 in the USA, 12 in the UK. Only fairly mild bad language, but there is one intimate scene although it's from the back, and nothing untoward is actually seen.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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