Why I’m a sucker for Serendipity

In honor of St. Valentine’s Day coming up, I am paying homage to my favorite of all favorite romantic movies, Serendipity. Ever wonder how I came up with the name for the blog? Now you know.

It’s hard to believe the movie came out in 2001. What? Ten years ago? A lot can happen in ten years. John Cusack is my favorite actor, and I haven’t seen him in anything else that compares to this film. His co-star, Kate Beckinsale, is, of course, amazing, and her sidekick, Eve, played by Molly Shannon, is the nutty best friend we all wish we had.

This movie is simply magical. The dialogue is snappy, and the cast of supporting characters compliment the co-stars while taking the audience on a emotional roller coaster ride that runs the gamut of feeling—regret, remorse, pity, anger, romantic tension, humor, heartache, relief.

Wow, I wish I’d written the screenplay.

But what is it that makes the movie so magical?

I think it’s the message that what is meant to be will be, no matter what. Everyone likes a happy ending, right? Especially when we’re living in a world with so few happy endings. The movie provides a sense of hope and fulfillment.

Here are my Top Five Reasons why Serendipity is my all-time favorite.

1. The word serendipity–my FAVORITE word in the whole world. Why? Because the definition of serendipity refers to “the accidental discovery of something pleasant, valuable, or useful.” Life has lost its wonder if there is no hope. Serendipity implies a sense of adventure, the feeling that something wonderful could be waiting around the corner. When I was a little kid, I believed I would find the leprechaun and his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch him.

2. John Cusack stars in the movie. What’s so great about John Cusack? He has attitude. He’s a romantic. He’s a blogger. He’s into kickboxing. He’s a baseball fan (but he likes the White Sox). He’s obviously not perfect, but he’s got potential.

3. One of the best scenes in the movie takes place in the little restaurant called Serendipity, famous for its “Frozen Hot Chocolate.” The only thing that would have made it better is if it were a coffee shop, but it’s close enough for … me. The real restuarant is in Manhattan.

4. There’s a literary element to the movie with the Shakespearean twists. The couple part ways but not before placing their love in the hands of fate. They write their contact info on a $5 bill and in the front of a book, Love in the Time of Cholera, a real novel written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and published by Alfred A. Knopf. (A bit of movie trivia—the $5 bill is a 1999 bill, but the movie is supposed to have taken place in 1994.)

5. There is a reference to music. John Corbett plays Lars Hammond, the new age musician boyfriend of Sara. Lars is too adorable to dislike, and the fact that he follows Sara and spends hours outside her hotel door is incredibly sweet. I’m sure Lars will find his special someone too. But Jon and Sara belong together. Sorry Lars. Good guy, just the wrong guy. (I’ve been a huge fan of John Corbett since his Northern Exposure days. This is MY list of reasons, so I can also add that John Corbett recorded the country song “Good to Go,” co-written by one of my favorite songwriters, Rodney Clawson. Six degrees of separation?)

What’s your favorite romantic movie or love story? I hope Cupid tickles your heart this Valentine’s Day.