Movie Review by Susannah Macklin
Starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Molly Shannon, Jeremy Piven, Bridget Moynahan
Director: Peter Chelsom
This is one of those films that totally throws you through its choice of leading man. It throws you because you expect it to be an indie picture, and it throws you because you expect it to be, well, better!
With John Cusack in the main role of what the more polite of us might call one of his stranger choices, he’s probably the one redeeming feature of this whole sorry episode.
Cusack plays Jonathan (does the originality never end!) who while out shopping one Christmas, by a turn of serendipitous fortune, bumps into a beautiful stranger. This mysterious girl (played by an uninspiring Kate Beckinsale) is a big believer in fate – in what bought them together and why? In fact she’s such a big believer, that although deeply attracted to Jonathan, she is willing to watch him walk out of her life and let fate decide if they will ever meet again. That was her first mistake and this unfortunately, is where everything starts falling apart, seeing as this is the premise….well you can see where it’s heading!
The whole thing starts off luke warm but begins to heat up towards the end – saved mostly by Cusack’s cuteness, and only just mind you! Was it me or did he have a mullet haircut for the first half of the film?. There are also some amusing exchanges between Jeremy Piven (VERY BAD THINGS) and Eugene Levy (AMERICAN PIE). The basic notion of ‘whatever will be, will be’, is actually quite appealing, but the way it’s executed is not. For a start, the fact that it literally screams ‘chick flick’ from the moment the film starts rolling is a complete let down. However a toe-tap worthy soundtrack and some genuinely comedic moments just about drag SERENDIPITY out of the doldrums. It might actually be quite good if you could hear more of the okay script over the constant ringing in your head of the word WHY!