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Film / Serendipity

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Serendipity is a 2001 Romantic Comedy film directed by Peter Chelsom.

John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale star as Jonathan Trager and Sara Thomas, who meet in Bloomingdale's after grabbing the same pair of gloves as a Christmas gift for their respective partners. Jonathan is attracted to Sara and asks her to give him her number, but when he loses it, Sara believes that they should let destiny determine whether or not they should be together. They are separated, left with nothing but one glove each from the same black pair they had seen in Bloomingdale's, and with no clues to finding each other but a five-dollar bill (on which Jonathan had written his name and number) and a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera (in which Sara did the same) that they send out to the world for them to find. And no, they don't even know each other's full names when they get separated.

Six years later, Jonathan is engaged to Halley Buchanan and would be getting married in a few days, while Sara's boyfriend Lars Hammond proposes to her. Despite this, both of them continue trying to find the dollar bill and the book (although Sara's belief in supernatural phenomena has greatly decreased) and find themselves in a race against time and destiny in an attempt to meet again before their respective wedding dates. Hilarity Ensues.

The following tropes are found in this film:

  • Because Destiny Says So: Sara believed that destiny should determine whether or not she and Jonathan should be together. At first...
  • Beta Couple: Dean and Courtney, according to Jonathan, though they eventually split up. Dean tries to fix things up, though.
  • Boy Meets Girl: It's John Cusack, what do you expect?
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gloves do more than just bring them together; Jonathan's glove helps him in his search for Sara.
  • Contrived Coincidence: All the events that Jonathan and Sara go through that either separate them or bring them closer together, with some of them being far more believable than others.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Serendipity" is both a restaurant that is the site of Jonathan and Sarah's first date and the premise of the film (luck; good fortune; fate.)
  • Forever Fling: Jonathan and Sara only meet for several hours before being separated for several years and then trying to track each other down.
  • It's a Small World, After All: Sara's best friend Eve knew Jonathan's fiancee Halley in college. In fact, Sara and Jonathan would have met about half an hour earlier if Sara had just gone with Eve to watch the wedding rehearsal!
  • Meet Cute: The main characters do this, then spend the rest of the movie just barely avoiding doing so again.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Also the entire premise of the film.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Halley mistakes Sarah and Eve for a lesbian couple when inviting them to watch the wedding rehearsal. They quickly clarify that they're just friends with Sarah emphasising that she's engaged to a man.
  • Mistaken Identity: I guess that golfer did kind of look like Jonathan from behind...
  • Mythology Gag: This is not the first time that John Cusack has used a description of the constellation Cassiopeia as way to pick up a girl.
  • The Namesake: "Serendipity" is a restaurant that is the site of Jonathan and Sarah's first date.
  • No Name Given: Almost, anyway.
  • One-Word Title: "Serendipity" is both a restaurant that is the site of Jonathan and Sarah's first date and the premise of the film (luck; good fortune; fate).
  • Orbital Kiss: At the very end, in an empty skating rink.
  • Plot Coupon: The book and the dollar bill.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Lars and Halley.
  • Runaway Fiancé: Jonathan seems to be fairly uninterested in his own wedding, enough so to be running after some other woman in the crucial days before. Even after he thought he lost Sara, he realizes that he doesn't love Halley.
  • Screw Destiny: Jonathan really, really hates that it separated him from Sara.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: While searching for Jonathan in New York City, Eve was thrilled to buy a "Prado" purse from a street vendor. Sara is quick to remind her that at least her fake actually says "Prada" on it.
  • Shout-Out: We see an ad for Six Degrees of Separation, a play based on an eponymous concept, which is related to Missed Him by That Much.
  • Snow Means Love: Jonathan and Sara meet five days before Christmas. It's winter again when they find each other at the end.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Eugene Levy has only three scenes, but he owns them all.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Well, destiny said so after all...
  • There Are No Coincidences: According to Sara...
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Says Sara.