Serendipity: The Happy Accident

serendipitySee, the best part about that title is that it serves a dual purpose. It’s defining the word serendipity, and it’s also describing my decision to watch the movie Serendipity last night. It was a fortunate coincidence – a happy accident.

First, some background: Starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as Jonathan and Sara, respectively, this movie is a story of destiny. Which is why it caught my attention. I believe the Netflix description was something along the lines of “two people meet and have instant chemistry, but are both in relationships. Years later, they search for each other once again.” And that’s about as well as they could have put it.

kzNGZtYTqAL6Gibc5Cp8Z99W1pWszm6p_640x360_53965891777Specifically, the two meet five days before Christmas, in Bloomingdales, when they both reach for the same (last) pair of gloves, and have to argue over who saw them first. She gets the gloves, but feels bad, so she buys him dessert at a sweet shop called Serendipity, and they talk about the meaning of the word – and how perfectly it describes them coming across one another. But, as Netflix already told us, they’re both seeing other people, and Sara believes that if they’re fated to be together, they’ll have to wait on destiny to bring them back to one another. He protests, so she compromises by insisting that they both send signs out into the universe. He writes his name and number on a five dollar bill, which she uses to pay for a stick of gum at a corner stand, and she puts her name and number into a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, and says she’ll sell it to a used book store the next morning. They reluctantly part ways, and years pass.

The story starts again with both Jonathan and Sara engaged (not to each other) and only days away from their weddings. Both want to search for the other before they can’t anymore, and the fates begin to align once again. And that’s all I can tell you, because I want you to watch the movie.

Reasons you should watch this movie ASAP: It’s just adorable. I mean, John Cusack alone is adorable, but then add in the whole movie and other characters and love story part and you’ve got a keeper right there.

65a2c808f5419842650702ab01087402I really enjoyed this movie, because – and I may be stating the obvious here, but it’s okay if I sound stupid, it’s my blog – it has a happy ending. Sometimes rom-coms get a lot of flack because they’re formulaic and predicable. But I have to say, as an avid fan of musical theater, and high quality movies with dense or complex plots, a simple happy ending is a nice change. I love my tragic Broadway shows and bittersweet dramas, don’t get me wrong. But, knowing that a movie will end the way you want it to when the movie starts is okay sometimes too. Plus, as far as this particular movie goes, being able to anticipate the ending doesn’t mean you know exactly how it will happen, and that’s the part of this movie that I absolutely adored.

tumblr_lx9epj4agV1qbdajjo1_500The other thing I loved about Serendipity was the…well, the serendipity of the whole plot. I like to believe that the world kind of works the way that they play it out in this movie: yes, we make our own choices and we decide the way that our life goes, but everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to in the end. We get to choose the way we get there, but we’re all headed to the right place and the right person sooner or later. This movie and this story is very hopeful. It’s refreshing to me, because even though I know that movies aren’t real life, the stories that we tell in movies are a reflection of the stories that we live. And telling happy stories means that someone had a happy story to tell.

Since I want you to go watch this movie on your own, I’m not going to say too much more about it. Give me a comment or an email (writingdunn@gmail.com) and tell me how you liked it! I hope you enjoy Serendipity, and I hope that you find some serendipity in your day today.

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