ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  peter chelsom

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  romantic comedy

LENGTH  -  90 minutes

RELEASED  -  5 october 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  miramax pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  serendipity

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $28,000,000
serendipity - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from serendipity at

buy the dvd from serendipity at

a couple reunite years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together.

following the destruction of the world trade center on 11 september 2001, images of the world trade center towers were digitally removed from all skyline shots of new york city.


picture from serendipity

picture from serendipity

picture from serendipity


three out of four possible stars

Touted as a "feel good" movie for the autumn, Serendipity seems to be just that. It's no When Harry Met Sally, but it is very enjoyable, thanks in part to the chemistry present between its two main stars. Of course, I have a sneaking suspicion that this fun on the screen is due almost entirely in part to John Cusack. Always a delight in his films, Cusack is able to step into the shoes of this role with no problem. No matter what kind of character he plays, he always is the brightest part of the film. Just be sure you don't subject yourself to America's Sweethearts . . . which i'm convinced is a bad movie only because Billy Crystal can't write a decent screenplay.

Even the expertise of John Cusack could not save that script. But in this film, I don't think that the script is of so much importance. Really, it's what goes on between the stars that audience members should pay attention to. And when I saw this movie, that's all I cared about. I was actually interested in whether Cusack and Kate Beckinsale would get together, knowing, of course, that they would. Even though this story something that has been played out on the screen probably a thousand times before, it was fun to see it on the screen yet again.

Of course, it might be pertinent to note that the to main stars of this film do not spend more than a fifth of the run of the movie in each other's company. But that's how powerful their chemistry is together. You want to see these two characters get together. After seeing a large lack of chemistry between actors in the movies this summer (I haven't seen anything since Bridget Jones where I've seen two characters, or three in Bridget's case, get such a good vibe together on the screen. It might sound like i'm going on and on about this whole chemistry thing, but I have to say I really enjoyed this film.

And I have to say a few words more on the acting job by Cusack in this movie. I could rave about him for hours, but don't worry, I'll take just a paragraph more of your time. At the end of the second act, there's a scene between Cusack and Bridget Moynahan (who plays his fiance) where, after the big turning point, his character becomes absolutely silent, saying nothing for about thirty seconds. Which, in a film, is a long time for silence. John's face goes through such a transformation that you know exactly what he's thinking and what he could be saying.

But he's not saying a word. It's pretty cool acting when the performance on the screen doesn't require any dialogue. Now onto other fish. Beckinsale has redeemed herself almost entirely with her performance in this film. Now why, you ask, would she have to be redeemed? Just see a little independent film by the name of Pearl Harbor to see a perfect example of how two characters who are supposed to be in love, have nothing in common with one another. In Serendipity, Cusack and Beckinsale make it seem as though they belong with one another.

In addition, the peripheral characters in this film were pretty enjoyable. Molly Shannon, Jeremy Piven, and Eugene Levy round out the cast. Of course, levy has to be the most interesting character in the movie. Always a hilarious presence in whatever role he takes, the job he does in this film is no exception. Levy plays a salesperson in Bloomingdales (where Cusack and Beckinsale meet in the film), who is in desperate need of customers to meet his monthly quota, so he forces Cusack's character to spend hundreds of dollars on interesting items of clothing like purple suits and alligator skin shoes in exchange for information.

And Levy plays the character to the max, very fastidious, completely neurotic. Although his part is small, it really adds to the film. He's one of those charactes you almost wish was in more of the film. I don't suppose I could get through the whole review though without mentioning my only complaint on the film. It has to do with the fact that sometimes the film got to be too cute, overpowering the actors and becoming a cliche element. And although you have to expect a certain amount of that in a film, I find it refreshing when a story can stay away from all those pieces of romance that make you kind of cringe and think of cotton candy.

It's just too sweet sometimes. But let me make known that this is only a small complaint. It's a romance! You have to expect more than a fair amount of cutsey cute. So without further ado, I have to state that i enjoyed this film way more than i should have. Perhaps it's because I saw Training Day on the same day. Two entirely different films. You have to expect that this film isn't a revolutionary experience, but that it is a fun walk in the park that's well worth a trip to the theater.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs miramax pictures 2001
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