Serendipity

 (8,104)
6.81 h 30 min2001X-RayPG-13
John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale star as two strangers who meet by chance amidst the crowds of New York City, and despite their attraction, decide that fate will choose if they are to be together in years to come.
Directors
Peter Chelsom
Starring
John CusackKate BreckinsaleJeremy Piven
Genres
ComedyEPGKids
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Bridget Moynahan
Producers
Simon FieldsPeter AbramsRobert L. Levy
Studio
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Rating
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Foul languagesexual contentsmoking
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

8104 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

J&JReviewed in the United States on July 8, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
With great risk, comes great reward
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John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale.
The classic it's all about timing & destiny love story that, starts with a pair of gloves.
But it's John Cusack & Kate Beckinsale so it's not conventional, it's captivating & off beat.
It puts a smile on your face that you can't peel off during the entire story.

It's not just the story, set against New York City at Christmas.
It's the cast.
Jeremy Piven as funny, quick witted yet insightful best friend.
Molly Shannon as Beckinsale's quirky pal.

Bridget Moynihan as Cusack's love interest, after fate took him on a path away from Beckinsale.
John Corbett as Beckinsale's alternate love interest.
Eugene Levy as the hilarious go between sales clerk.

This has been one of my fave's on DVD for years.
Finally decided to add it to my streaming library bc it's that movie that gives you hope.
Hope that the universe has a plan & some accidents are Serendipity. Designed to bring us fortune.

Plus, I never tire of Jeremy Piven's thought invoking droplets.
Such as, "The Greeks didn't believe in Obituaries.
All they asked at the end of a man's life is 'Did he have Passion?'"
It's a story of passion. Taking a leap of Faith even if it seems crazy.
10 people found this helpful
Ivan David LippensReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Romantic, but Dangerous...
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One of the Most Romantic Movies I have ever seen.
However, it does have a Fatal Flaw.

Things don't work like this for everyone.
It's not a constant.

You might be able to argue that this happens in more subtle ways.
Maybe people don't notice it, because they aren't looking, but if this trumps choice then people would be able to recover more readily from bad choices.

It doesn't always workout for everyone.
Some very sincere people are the victims of the bad choices of other people, and vice versa.

Sometimes, everything points to a fine choice, but down the line, somebody involved starts making bad choices.
It's not the result of chaos, but rather corruption.

I do acknowledge guiding forces, patterns, design, etc, but I also have to acknowledge the power of Choice.
The things we choose ripple-out, as well, and the same applies to the choices of others, and how their choices can affect us.

There is power in the good choices we make, but we also have to be content with what we have, and Trust in God, through the bad things.
The account of Joseph is a perfect example.

That dude had some of the worst things happen to him, but he trusted in the Lord, was faithful, and he went from the bottom to the top, at the appointed time.
Same thing with Job, and Daniel, and any number of other significant figures in the scriptures.

It's not of our design, though, and if we fight it, and try to make it what WE think is right, I think that's when things really start to fall apart, or never come together.
So, I think this kind of movie can really offer peace, and muster faith in God, but at the same time, uncanny connections could also be used as an excuse to get involved in bad relationships, and bad choices.

Just because there is a powerful connection, doesn't mean it's a good thing.
We definitely have to be discerning about what is really going on, because it does come down to what we choose to do with the time that is given to us.
11 people found this helpful
Angus PrimeReviewed in the United States on December 7, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
My sister recommended it. She was wrong.
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The movie succeeded in generating an emotional response at the end, but to get there was painful. A guy and girl meet and had chemistry. Movie should ended after the first few minutes and they live happily ever after. But no, since the phone number blew away she took that as a sign. She set it up so they could have a sign in the future by making markers to find and thus leave their relationship to chance. What guy would pursue a nut case like that? We are supposed to believe since they both selected the same elevator number they were meant to be together. Could you not argue the boy in the elevator pushing the buttons showed that they were not meant to be together? The whole movie was them frantically trying to find each other and just missing an encounter. If they were meant to be together why did they just miss except to prove they really wanted to be together but that was already established in the first few minutes. Their constant pursuit of each other was tiring. Much of the movie I was able to predict what would happen next. I would only buy this movie on sale.
4 people found this helpful
Patrick FoleyReviewed in the United States on July 9, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
It's fated to be.
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One of my favorite movies. It's a fun romantic comedy that is timeless. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale have great chemistry in this film. I already have it on DVD, and just had to have it on blu-ray. I hope there are extras on the blu-ray telling the back story of the production. It's the story where two people meet over a silly item, lose contact and find each other years later; it's Fate at work when they both least expect it and both need it. Now that I think of it, teh first time I saw it, it was whimsical. The second time I saw it, it was even funnier. The third time I saw it, I had to have it. Seriously, I've seen it at least 20 times now and it never gets old.
8 people found this helpful
HatchReviewed in the United States on August 24, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful Fairy Tale
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Serendipity has rated as my favorite romantic comedy from the first time I saw it. If you watch the commentary on the film, the director acknowledges that it's a fairy tale and there are a few things that are definitely movie fantasy, which to me added to the charm, because it's a fairy tale filmed with real people. As for the film itself, John Cusak is always enjoyable in whatever he does. He has an unorthodox acting style and a contained yet frenetic energy that lights up the screen. I have no words for Kate Beckinsale, who has beauty far beyond my words to describe. Kate's acting in Serendipity is rock-solid, charming and emotional. You can't help but fall in love with her right away.

The supporting cast is just as incredible and what really rounds out this film. Jeremy Piven has the same frenetic energy as Cusak, but less control of it, which works perfectly. He literally crackles with it and the lifelong friendship that Piven and Cusak already have makes the onscreen relationship completely solid because it isn't really acting for them. I've never been a huge Molly Shannon fan, but she is cast perfectly as the best friend and foil for Beckinsale's cheery demeanor.

Bridget Moynahan plays her role perfectly. She is a sweet beauty who any man would love and you find yourself loving her. You can't hate her- there is no reason to and any tension you feel with her is derived from how well Cusak plays his role. John Corbett shines again as an actor this time with a boyish enthusiasm for his art and his fiance. Like Moynahan he is completely likable. You feel his characters love for Beckinsale's character, but you can also sense that it isn't quite enough.

Eugene Levy is a joy. He really is fantastic in anything he does. He doesn't have a whole lot of screen time on Serendipity, but that is offset by the fact that you get a full dose of him in the short time he appears. His chemistry with everyone he appears with is almost magical.

This movie was directed with the sense that it's a fairy tale by a director wise enough to know when to let Cusak off his leash. Despite Cusak's tendency to speak quickly, he is always completely understandable and his ability to improv physical comedy and short additional comments to written dialogue is what makes many of his movies so enjoyable.

The soundtrack is awesome- I have it and I listen to many of the songs often. My favorite is the haunting acoustic guitar solo by the very talented artist David Gray. It plays perfectly into the quiet reflective moments of the filim.

To wrap it up, this movie was perfectly cast and perfectly directed. Everyone's screen time was exactly what it should have been and everyone works together seamlessly. It remains my favorite romantic comedy of all time.

Really, this movie has been out since 2001 and if you haven't seen it yet, you need to watch it. Don't put it off any longer.
14 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on May 13, 2022
3.0 out of 5 stars
Plays out like a fairytale
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I only watched this rom-com because I’m a sucker for John Cusack. The story is a whimsical tale about whether fate wants Cusack and Kate Beckinsale together. They do things like get into separate elevators to see if they get off at the same floor. There are also some fun parts like when Molly Shannon gets popped in the head at a golf course. It’s supposed to be like a fairy tale and it definitely captures that feel.
SSGReviewed in the United States on January 31, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
One for the Romantic Film Collection
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I had this film in my DVD collection years ago, and then gave it away after watching it way too often. Recently I began regretting that decision. In a world of uber violent movies, unimaginative sci-fi with overused apocalyptic themes, unfunny comedies, and bland romcoms...I missed this film, especially the music. So here it is again and in my collection to stay. FYI, Jeremy Piven's performance is a standout. He has, and brilliantly delivers, the best lines in the film.
One person found this helpful
H. BalaReviewed in the United States on October 6, 2008
4.0 out of 5 stars
"You don't just have the most incredible night of your life with a perfect stranger and then leave it all to chance, do you?!"
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Call me a wide-eyed ninny, but I bought into the film's premise. SERENDIPITY isn't a romantic comedy as much as it is a fantasy romantic comedy, and how much you like this film will depend in part on how much of a cynic or a dreamer you are. Me, I'm the wide-eyed ninny.

The story is about two people, Jonathan and Sara, who meet - and fall for each other - during one perfect New York evening five days before Christmas, but then decide to leave love to fate. If they meet again, then it was meant to be. But it doesn't pan out, and Jonathan and Sara are gone, just like that, from each other's lives. Cut to several years later, and the two are engaged, but not to each other. Still, echoes of that one enchanted night linger. And Jonathan and Sara, now separated by opposite coasts, decide to make one last-ditch effort to find fate...

SERENDIPITY is a fluffy, feel-good, head-in-the-clouds romance. It doesn't seek to impart lessons, although you do learn the one thing the Greeks ask when someone has passed on. It's a comedy, and with the likes of John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, and scene-stealer Eugene Levy gracing the screen, it's a good comedy, with several standout, laugh-out-loud gems. Plot wise, it's not that multi-layered. Basically, for most of the film, Cusack desperately chases down clues to Beckinsale's identity and Beckinsale, after stressing out about her engagement, finally opens herself up to chance and to serendipity. There are many moments where they barely miss each other or unknowingly find a connection to each other.

The deal breaker, of course, is that the film does ask that you soak in coincidence after coincidence (or near coincidence, more like), with that five dollar bill being perhaps the most far fetched gimmick used. The film requires two intelligent, believable leads to make the implausible premise work, to be these two characters who realize that what they're doing is totally ridiculous, but, hey, they're caught out in love, and there's nothing to do but go ahead and chase the moon. John Cusack, pretty much today's consensus go-to guy whenever an everyman lead role needs to be cast, is a no-brainer. He's a natural actor, and a fantastic re-actor. Kate Beckinsale, heartachingly beautiful and classy and British, lights up the screen with Cusack. And did I mention that she's heartachingly beautiful? (I think we should forgive her for PEARL HARBOR.) For those who haven't seen this movie yet, there's a bit of [[ASIN:B0000AOV4I Sleepless in Seattle (10th Anniversary Edition)]] going on here, as Jonathan and Sara, after the first 18 minutes of the movie, don't appear together until the end of the movie. Cusack and Beckinsale are so good together that we can't help but root for them.

Cusack and Piven demonstrate a different kind of chemistry, as well as impeccable timing, in their scenes together. Apparently, according to the director's audio commentary, Piven's supporting role wasn't going to be that large, but then Piven's skills came into play. His character is that of a glib-talking obituary writer for the New York Times, and I kind of feel that more funny could've been squeezed out from the obit writer angle. For whatever it's worth, Piven delivers one of the funniest Best Man's speeches ever put to cinema.

There's an old-fashioned feel to SERENDIPITY, partly because of the classic New York backdrop and partly because Cusack and Beckinsale simply exude a timeless charisma; I believe that they would've done well in any era in motion pictures. Throw in that part of the movie takes place over the holiday season, lending an even more sentimental vibe to the story. And then there's the pitch-perfect movie score and soundtrack to underscore the story and acting. Meanwhile, time lapse photography is well used to denote not only the passage of time but to also infuse energy into the scenes. As well, the director points out, this device allows us a deeper glimpse into what the characters are feeling (as exemplified in Sara's flight to New York).

One nice thing the movie does is to not depict Jonathan and Sara's respective intendeds as unlikable characters. Not only would that have been too easy an out, but it would've cheapened Jonathan and Sara's romance. As it is, we end up with a very good but bittersweet moment between Jonathan and his fiancee, played by Bridget Moynahan. I liked that Bridget's character is lovely and loving, and that the only thing wrong with her is that she isn't Sara.

And then there's Lars, Sara's fiance. Another sample of the film's sometimes whimsical leanings is that Lars is a New Age Yanni-type musician. John Corbett plays him quite seriously, which somehow makes Lars an even funnier character. Lars seems to be a nice guy.

The pragmatist in me argues that there's no such thing as a fortunate accident, no such thing as serendipity. That you can't count on it, anyway. But, in watching movies, of course you're allowed to dwell in fantasies, momentarily. Now and then, you can simply cave in to the story, especially when the actors are this good. Even when, yes, the coincidences seem too labored. SERENDIPITY is a fluffy, feel-good, head-in-the-clouds romance. I happen to find it irresistible.

Lastly, the movie made me want to look up Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera (okay, so mostly I can flip to the first page).
3 people found this helpful
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