The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features


I wasn't going to see this movie.

I had tickets to a rare Spanish film whose title can be loosely translated to "Bed of Lotion and Handcuffs" and was all set to spend the afternoon watching an art-house movie in a sticky theater when a few fortunate accidents occurred to turn my day around.

The first happy accident actually occurred the night before when I tripped over my cat, Rufus and landed on the TV remote. It turned on the TV to one of those cable channels in the 100's that was in the midst of a John Cusack marathon. So I sat down and watched the end of Hot Pursuit, followed by Grandview U.S.A. and Fat Man and Little Boy. I tell you, I was one viewing of The Journey of Natty Gann away from paradise.

The next morning, visions of John Boy in my head, I went to breakfast and read the paper. Flipping right to the sports section, I came across an article describing the first round baseball playoff series between Seattle and Cleveland. And reading about Cleveland reminded me that they were in the American League Central with the Chicago White Sox, which made me think of the great baseball scandal film Eight Men Out, and once again, John was in my mind.

Not done with the paper, I flipped to the front section and every story was about Afghanistan, and I thought of the Soviet war in Afghanistan twenty years ago which made me think of other events in Russian history which naturally brought up the animated classic Anastasia. And John Cusack, yet again.

It just seemed that I would never be free of Mr. Cusack, but I still had my tickets to Bed of Lotion and Handcuffs, so I wandered down to the theater for the show, only to find a vice squad arresting everyone in sight and closing the theater down. So much for Bed of Lotion and Handcuffs. I wasn't sure what was so wrong with watching a Spanish art flick, and felt that whoever called in this raid must be a Conservative Politician, which made me think of the great film, Bob Roberts, and once again, visions of Cusack danced in my head.

At this point, you may ask why I was still fighting these obvious signs? Well I'll tell you. I didn't realize the movie was even out yet. Could've sworn it wasn't due to be released for another week or two. So I headed over to a local multiplex to take in Training Day.

But, as happens time and time again, I began staring at a really hot woman. She stepped in line to buy a ticket, and I stepped in line right behind her. Well, two rows over and three people back, can't be too obvious. Problem was, I couldn't tell what film she had purchased tickets for so when I got up to the window I tried to be nonchalant as I pointed her out to the box office employee, saying I'll take one for whatever movie she bought tickets for.

Later, after being escorted out by security, I ducked into the first theater I could find and found myself in the third row for Serendipity.

Boy am I glad!

Serendipity is the story of John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale who fall in love with each other and then never see each other again for about seven years. They've moved on in life, they're both oh-so-close to getting married to other people when they each get to thinking that it might be nice to search out that one-night fling that never even got consummated seven years ago.

I'll let you guess the ending.

Serendipity breaks no new ground. But it is a very nice, very pleasing romantic comedy. John Cusack is as John Cusacky as ever, full of wit and angst and moments of bumbledum. Kate Beckinsale is very pretty and proper as the object of Cusack's desire and whimsical obsession. She reminds everyone who saw her in Pearl Harbor that she is, in fact, a good actress, and that Pearl Harbor certainly wasn't her fault.

This is one of those weird romantic comedies to which you should definitely take a date. Want a good gage of how tight your relationship is? Take your significant other to Serendipity. If, after seeing the film, your loved one mumbles something about wondering whatever happened to Hans, the ski instructor they met in the Alps six years ago, you may have a problem. On the other hand, if your special friend turns to you and coos "It's just like when we met in the drunk tank on New Year's" then you're in like Flynn.

There is really nothing overly bad to say about the movie itself. If you like John Cusack, then you know what to expect, and it's well worth the ride. There are moments where you say to yourself "Oh, right! Like THAT would ever happen."

But then, that's the point of the movie, isn't it? Happy accidents.

I'm giving Serendipity 3 5/6 Babylons. You should see it, but only if you didn't intend to see it but sort of accidentally end up seeing it because Rat Race was sold out or something.

Editor's Note:

Notice how the SMC mentions a "hot woman" once in paragraph 8 but mentions John Cusack 10 times. Hmmm....

Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Peter Chelsom
Starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Molly Shannon, Jeremy Piven, and, in his continual rebirth into pop culture, Eugene Levy. Oh, and John Corbett from Sex and the City (among other things) as a fruity recorder-playing new age freak named Lars. It just doesn't get any better than that.

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