A witty rom-com set in New York City? Get ready for some “awwws.” John Cusack plays Jonathan Trager, a New Yorker who by chance runs into Sara Thomas, played by Kate Beckinsale, at Macy’s during Christmas. The two immediately hit it off, but Sara decides to leave their relationship up to chance.
A regular man would view this as a testament to Sara’s batshit craziness, but Jonathan is no Average Joe. When fate fails to unite them, Sara and Jonathan go their separate ways and form new relationships, never entirely forgetting that one night in NYC. Several years later, Jonathan is still in New York and is engaged to a dimepiece named Halley, played by Bridget Moynahan. Sara now lives in San Francisco and is dating an eccentric New Age oboe player, played by John Corbett, aka The Dude From My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
For a movie with such a superficial plot, the cast is spectacular. Cusack and Beckinsale have an incredible chemistry, and make me wish all relationships could be as quirky and attractive. Jeremy Piven provides comedic relief as Jonathan’s best man, and fits his niche precisely. Corbett shines portraying the “Dreamy Artsy Douche” archetype, and is easily the film’s greatest asset. The film also paints a picturesque portrait of New York at Christmastime.
From there, however, the film suffers from an unrealistic plot line. Granted, most rom-coms have slightly far-fetched plots, but I found it more and more difficult to accept the absurd coincidences. Instead of focussing on the romantic connection between Jonathan and Sara, I became most entranced by the sensual Oboe stylings of John Corbett. I mean, I know it’s just a movie, but the man has a way with woodwind instruments.
Additionally, the film doesn’t offer much background as to why Jonathan and Sara are with their current partners, unless the driving force behind both relationships is physical attraction, in which case I can’t blame either one of them.
Ultimately, Serendipity is perfect for it’s genre. The combination of yummy actors and actresses, ridiculously coincidental plot developments, and a sap-tastic ending makes this film a must watch if you’re tryna get that dreamy indie girl to pucker up.
Take a Drink: whenever Jonathan finds a clue
Take a Drink: whenever John Corbett plays the oboe
Do a Shot: for the resulting involuntary convulsion