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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.31%
Worth A Look36.92%
Average: 18.46%
Pretty Bad: 20%
Total Crap: 12.31%

5 reviews, 35 user ratings

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by the Grinch

"Serendipity-doo-dah, dippity yay, man this movie sucked in a major way!"
2 stars


Serendipity, a word best used in pretensious coffee house poetry, is defined by Webster's as "the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for". I wish I could say the same after having walked unknowingly into the theatre the other night. Much like the melodramatic high-school poetry that often utilizes this term, the film Serendipity is all structure with neither style nor substance.

The film begins inauspiciously enough, with two betrothen 20-somethings (Cusack and Beckinsale) ogling each other over Michael Jackson's wardrobe (minus McCauley Culkin, mind you). Beckinsale's character seems to suffer from an unfortunate casebook example of obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, and despite their "chemistry" (which is more manufactured than Sam Donaldson's hair), she insists on test after test to see if destiny has pre-determined that they are meant for each other. After about 2 or 3 of these random tests (which leave you wondering why Cusack's character is still even interested in this headcase), the two would-be lovers become seperated, never to see their love blossom. That's right,'s the first awful warning sign of the notorious Chick-Flick...syrupy amounts of LoNGinG aND PiNiNG FoR a lOve ThaT cAn NEVER BE!

Flash forward to 3 or 4 years later. Cusack's about to be married to a supermodel with a Osama-yo-Mamma-sized bank account and yet can't get Beckinsale out his gourd...Beckinsale is betrothed to the Yanni-ish recording artist "Lars" (John Corbett) and yet can't shake her memories of the Cusackinator. Eventually, they become obsessed with finding each other and rekindling what began 4 years ago. And now we have something resembling a plot.

The script by Marc Klein is full of horrid cliches and predictable plot devices. This guy isn't even the poor man's Nora Ephron. Scenes that are supposed to be comic relief often fall flat on their face like a colossus with its shoelaces tied. Scenes come and go with little relevance other than to keep the story moving, and are promptly forgotten. The premise of two people searching for random clues for each other is pretty damned ridiculous...haven't these morons ever heard of personal ads or billboards, or even Jenny Freakin-Jones? In other words, this plot is more riddled with holes than William Shatner's stock portfolio.

The laughs are scarce. John Corbett practically steals the show in his few scenes as the self-absorbed Lars...funniest is the battle between his beast-soothing melodies and an angry horde of bloodthirsty berzerkers in one of his music videos...very Stiller-esque. Eugene Levy is annoying as usual as a prissy sales clerk who'd get punched out in real life. Jeremy Piven is okay as Cusack's best friend, but I can't help but feel his "motivation" here is "mortgage payment". Beckinsale is brassy and British, and much to my delight and my girlfriend's dismay, she does a good bit of running in this movie..HEY, lose the training bra, Kate! Cusack is....well, Cusack. It should itself be an adjective, i.e. "drop the Cusack routine, and help me with these crates of vampire iguanas!" JC is pretty much just picking up some Christmas money here, but there's plenty of his family's trademark face-scrunches that the girls all go gaga over. There's also a camera technique in this movie which I have dubbed the "Cusack Cam", in which the camera gets all shakey and disorienting whenever Cusack's character gets stressed. Think "Saving Private Cusack" and you'll get the idea.

I think anyone who enjoys this movie would probably enjoy a ninety minute movie of John Cul-de-Sac brushing his teeth or watering and talking to his houseplants. That would've probably been more entertaining than what "Serendipity" turned out to be...a sappy, heavy-handed and predictable Romantic Comedy.

I serendiPITY tha fool that gets suckered into seeing this train-wreck!

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originally posted: 10/10/01 07:46:37
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User Comments

8/19/15 Carol Cute couple in touching film. 5 stars
1/02/15 Catherine H sweet film about fate, destiny, romance 5 stars
1/09/11 JP Awful awful awful 1 stars
4/21/10 Amar V If you leave the 'fate' part, this is an immensely enjoyable film. 4 stars
12/23/08 David This is a fantasy, not to be taken seriously, as such, it works quite well. 4 stars
7/08/06 NS Good romantic comedy! 4 stars
1/09/05 R.W. Welch Fun with fate. Some decent writing. WAL for romantics. 3 stars
9/08/04 Aaron Smith Interesting love story. I liked it. 4 stars
8/23/04 Stevie Y. Cusack & Beckinsale are perfect together. Fun, heartwarming, & well written. 5 stars
7/29/04 Stacy Love It makes me cry every time I watch it 5 stars
10/12/03 laura paterson disappointing that Cusack wasted his talents on this! 3 stars
12/27/02 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng Why fuck with destiny? Where's the faith in that? 1 stars
12/04/02 Jimmy Sweet movie 4 stars
8/03/02 Jim A flake and a flirt jerk around their fiance(e)s while trying to get some 3 stars
7/02/02 Phil M. Aficionado How many coincidences can you put into an hour and half? Always room for one more 3 stars
5/27/02 Phoenix I hate to admit it, but I kinda liked it. Cusack and Beckinsale were great. 4 stars
4/21/02 natasha John Cusack and Jeremy Piven are worth watching 4 stars
3/13/02 James Horton It was a nice pleasant film 4 stars
2/09/02 Veronica Tatterworth Strange, I remember liking it, but've forgotten mostly what it's about. 4 stars
2/01/02 Ashley Corpening John Cusack helps make this highly contrived romantic thriller more watchable 4 stars
12/28/01 Kimberly J. Crady The story was magical. New York needs some magic right now. 5 stars
12/27/01 Julie excellent romance, feel good movie, John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale were wonderful! 5 stars
12/26/01 julie pretty cute, but definitly needed some more screen time of john and kate together 4 stars
11/03/01 Jess loved everything about it! 5 stars
10/30/01 Girl 9 Another cheesy date movie....*gag* 3 stars
10/18/01 cindy Great date film....wonderfully sappy!! 4 stars
10/18/01 Catherine Schneider I hate romance films but loved this one. 4 stars
10/16/01 Bud A no surprises romantic comedy. Great date movie. 4 stars
10/14/01 Dane Clark It's a bad movie.. if you have no soul. 5 stars
10/12/01 Jestyr Def. a great date flick, and all around good movie. 4 stars
10/11/01 ThatGuy High Fidelity minus the Top 5 lists. Jeremy Piven rocks tho. 4 stars
10/08/01 asdfk; Bad camera goofs; Mic in frame; etc. WarmFuzzy Film; Bring Date 4 stars
10/07/01 Arthur Keissel A good date movie. Just lot's of fun to watch. 4 stars
10/02/01 mcf Paper thin plot... don't waste your $10 2 stars
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  05-Oct-2001 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Peter Chelsom

Written by
  Marc Klein

  John Cusack
  Kate Beckinsale
  Jeremy Piven
  Eugene Levy
  Molly Shannon
  Bridget Moynahan

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