‘Serendipity’ is destined to be a good rental

Aside from being a really cool word to say, serendipity is the act of discovering desirable things accidentally or unexpectedly. New at the box office last weekend was “Serendipity” – a romantic comedy about fate having its way with a woman who believes that everything happens for a reason and a man who doesn't.

This adventure in happenstance begins in snow-covered New York City, where Johnathan Trager (John Cusack, Gross Point Blank) and Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale, Pearl Harbor) reach for the last pair of black cashmere gloves at Bloomingdale's five days before Christmas. As they both try to kindly relinquish the gloves to the other, Johnathan becomes smitten. They have drinks at a bistro called Serendipity, where Sara explains that she believes fate dictates her life and that if getting to know each other is meant to be, she and Johnathan will meet again For audiences that don't believe in fate, the next hour and 10 minutes of the movie might seem like a gross exaggeration of coincidence. Sara writes her name and phone number inside a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, saying if after she sells the book to a bookstore and it ends up back in Johnathan's hands, then they are meant to be. Johnathan writes his name and number on a five-dollar bill and buys something with it, hoping the note will end up back in Sara's hands. Then they go their separate ways.

A few years later, Johnathan is in New York, engaged to Hallie (Bridget Moynahan, Coyote Ugly), and Sara is in San Francisco, engaged to Lars (John Corbett, Sex in the City). By chance, both are having second thoughts just days before each are scheduled to get married, wondering what might have been. With the help of Johnathan's best friend Dean (Jeremy Piven, PCU), they spend the next few days trying to find Sara, as Sara and her best friend Eve (Molly Shannon, Saturday Night Live) are looking for Johnathan.

“Serendipity” attempts to convert the skeptics of destiny and reinforces the proponents. Will the two seemingly ill-fated, romantic hopefuls cheat fate and take destiny into there own hands? The movie has a great cast, but Shannon's character was underdeveloped. There are intermittent action shots of the city shown in fast-forward throughout the movie that seem to act more like filler rather than compliment the story, which is pretty annoying. The scenery is refreshing. Primarily shot in New York City, audiences won't find any shots of the old World Trade Center, but the movie is successful in illustrating the spirit, excitement and vitality for which the city is known.

“Serendipity” is a good movie to watch snuggled up to your date or watch with the girls – on DVD at home.