Directed by Peter Chelsom
Starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Molly Shannon, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Eugene Levy.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for a scene of sexuality, and for brief language.

Review by Eugene Kopman <>
October 14, 2001

Serendipity is not only a restaurant in New York but also a word that means fate. But it wasn't serendipity that such talent appeared in this film; it was money. But I digress.

In a New York Bloomingdales, Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) meets a woman while buying a Christmas gift for his girlfriend. The woman, Sara (Kate Beckinsale), is buying a gift for her boyfriend. They decide to spend some time together that night. They walk around the city and Jonathan feels that it's kismet or serendipity that they met, but the signs point otherwise. So they decide to test fate. Jon writes his number on the back of a five-dollar bill and Sara writes hers in her favorite book. Sara then exchanges the $5 and sells her book to a used bookseller, so if she later gets the bill and Jon gets the book, then it's true serendipity.

A few years later, Jonathan is getting married and Sara, who now lives in San Francisco, is getting engaged. Both of them question their present relationships. Despite the advice of their best friends Dean (Jeremy Piven) and Eve (Molly Shannon), they decide to check on their one night chance meeting. Jon goes as far as checking with Sara's old boyfriends and roommates and trying to get her address from a clerk (Eugene Levy) at Bloomingdales. Sara decides to fly to New York and try to find Jonathan.

This movie is very predictable. For one, everyone knows exactly how this movie will end. Second, the points of the movie that were supposed to be a surprise were also predictable about a minute before. Even though the dialogue was funny, the story was a bit lame. But the acting by Cusack, Piven, Shannon and Levy made it all worthwhile. Beckinsale is a beautiful woman, but she did not impress me with her acting ability. Cusack and Piven have great chemistry and should do more movies together. Levy and Shannon were the highlights of their scenes and had everyone laughing.

Cusack needs to get away from romantic comedies for a while and do something like an action or a horror film, because recently, his enormous talent has been wasted. With Serendipity, I would wait for fate to rent it for me when it comes out on video.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Serendipity (2001)

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