SERENDIP­ITY (2001) 7TWO, 6.30PM, PG, DRAMA

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - HIGHLIGHTS -

In my copy of the Ox­ford Dic­tionary, the def­i­ni­tion for serendip­ity is: “The oc­cur­rence and devel­op­ment of events by chance in a happy or ben­e­fi­cial way.” Well, this ro­man­tic com­edy is cer­tainly ben­e­fi­cial, mainly be­cause I felt quite happy hav­ing seen it. But noth­ing has been left to chance here. The script is well-pol­ished and the cast­ing spot-on. This is the movie that should end up on the syl­labus for as­pir­ing direc­tors at ro­man­tic com­edy school. John Cu­sack, the think­ing girl’s sex sym­bol, plays a hope­less ro­man­tic who meets, and falls for, Kate Beck­in­sale’s English rose while shop­ping for Christ­mas gifts in New York. They spend a few bliss­ful hours to­gether and, be­liev­ing fate should de­cide whether they should meet again, leave their re­la­tion­ship in the lap of the gods. Years later, he’s still in New York and about to be mar­ried and she’s newly en­gaged in San Fran­cisco. But, un­able to put that one night out of their minds, they de­cide to test fate one last time. The story doesn’t con­tain any sur­prises – boy meets girl, loses girl, gets girl back again – and nor should it. Serendip­ity de­lights in other, less ob­vi­ous ways. As Cu­sack and Beck­in­sale search for one an­other, near misses, co­in­ci­dences and red her­rings are lib­er­ally scat­tered in front of us. Surely this cou­ple must meet now ... but they don’t and our ex­pec­ta­tion builds that lit­tle bit more. Jeremy Piven (as Cu­sack’s best mate) and Molly Shan­non (as Beck­in­sale’s friend) have smaller, but eye­catch­ing, roles. Eu­gene Levy, fa­mil­iar mostly for the Amer­i­can­Pie films (not to men­tion his eye­brows), comes close to steal­ing the show as an anal­re­ten­tive de­part­ment store sales­man. ★★★✩

It started with a kiss: Kate Beck­in­sale and John Cu­sack set hearts aflut­ter in Serendip­ity.

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