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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Wipe this Smile Off My Face!!!!!!!!!!!
I was definitely in the mood for an uplifting, life affirming movie and so, by way of recommendations from friends, I went to see "Happy Accidents." The first thing that struck me about half way though this movie was that I was smiling...a lot. But I tend to do that when Marisa Tomei is around. Is there any other actress currently performing that is so...
Published on October 10, 2001 by MICHAEL ACUNA

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The truth never lies
There's a very specific subgenre of sci-fi that focuses on whether or not time-traveling men are really who they say they are. See: "11 Minutes Ago," "K-PAX," "Timer." HAPPY SPOILER: They always, always are telling the truth.

You can't blame the producers for this really. If it turned out all along the protagonist really was insane it wouldn't make for much a...
Published on November 18, 2012 by Michael J. Tresca


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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Wipe this Smile Off My Face!!!!!!!!!!!, October 10, 2001
By 
MICHAEL ACUNA (Southern California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was definitely in the mood for an uplifting, life affirming movie and so, by way of recommendations from friends, I went to see "Happy Accidents." The first thing that struck me about half way though this movie was that I was smiling...a lot. But I tend to do that when Marisa Tomei is around. Is there any other actress currently performing that is so emotionally open and accessible? So what was it? Was it the fact that the script was a Hoot? ("He could tell the photograph was of people from New York since they were all wearing black and holding apple martinis.") Could it be Vincent D'Onofrio's oddball performance as a man "from the future?" Maybe, but D'Onofrio has made a career of such parts and for once his physical ticks and shtick work for him instead of against. Could it be that Brad Anderson's direction held the fine line between farce and drama as tight as a drum? Well, of course it was all of these things. Anderson is now a talent to be reckoned with as evidenced here and in the deadly serious, scary, other-worldy "Session 9." On the surface these 2 movies would seem to have nothing in common. But on closer inspection it can be noted that they share a profound and heartfelt love of the creeps and geeks of the world as well as a like love for the unexplainable and unpenetrable. "Happy Accidents" is basically about the redemptive and cleansing qualities of love. And boy....we need a lot of that stuff these days.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time travel and romance - a great date movie and more!, February 12, 2003
This review is from: Happy Accidents [VHS] (VHS Tape)
It is hard to find truly watchable and engaging movies that both men and women will love. But this one is just that... science fiction and romance blended into a charming movie that deserves far more attention than it has been getting, since it is superior to most of the "blockbusters" that fill the movie screens these days. SOmehow this one came out and never really seemed to hit big. Now it is available on video and I urge you to grab a copy before it fades away again.
Marisa Tomei may have found the role of her life playing Ruby, a woman who's had more than her share of failed romances. Vincent D'Onofrio is perfect as the lowkey Sam, a guy who is quirky and a bit different from the average man... but for good reason, as he may (or may not) be traveling back in time, coming from 400 years in the future.
If all this seems a bit farfetched, let me add that my husband and I are NOT huge fans of "science fiction" type movies - and yet we couldn't take our eyes off the screen. Not only that, but we were charmed and touched by this movie. It is funny, romantic and quite believable. I give credit to Tomei and D'Onofrio for pulling it off.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just to refute the haters, August 27, 2011
I never post movie reviews. But I was almost dissuaded from watching this very moving and engrossing film by some really shallow negative reviews on this site. Some people are just not satisfied unless they are tearing something down. (Ironically, the worst was from a user who calls himself "a big movie fan". Really. If you don't love this, I don't think you can really call yourself an all-around movie fan; just a fan of certain genres/types/etc.)

If what you ask for in a movie is to be engaged and not quite sure what's going to happen right up until the very end, and aren't so A.D.D. that you need a car crash, gunfight or beatdown every ten seconds, this is one you will not want to miss.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a thriller, it's not that "sci-fi"-y, you won't be grabbing the edge of your seat, but unless you're a robot, you *will* care.

I really liked this movie... enough to write my first review on this site just to offset those petty little haters who have to drag all their obnoxious prejudices about the movie THEY would have made into every discussion. If you like Vincent D'Onofrio and can handle a romantic storyline, you'll like this film.

As an added bonus, see if you can spot the actor who now serves as Geico's Rod-Serling-like pitchman , looking very little like he does now, in a small role (I had a good ten-minute "where the HELL do I KNOW that guy from?" experience over it)... not to mention H. Jon Benjamin before his voice developed into the comedic rusty honk he's known for today (e.g., as Archer).

Don't let the very few crappy reviews of this film even register with you; it's a romantic little indie film that holds up very well, keeps you interested and caring right to the end.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and touching, April 13, 2003
This review is from: Happy Accidents (DVD)
I'm not a Maria Tomei fan. But here's a film that not only makes her look truly lovely, it gives her an opportunity to shine. It also has Tovah Feldshuh (who in the past has regularly played a deeply annoying attorney on Law & Order) giving a fine, controlled performance as Tomei's mother. The movie, of course, is D'Onofrio's. His character is just so unpredictable (light years beyond his over-the-top, yet immensely watchable geekiness on L & O Criminal Intent) in every way, that without any evident effort he makes the movie entirely his own. Is he a time-traveler, or is he just charmingly nuts? There are hilarious moments, warm and touching moments, confusing moments--all leading to a hugely gratifying conclusion. The editing is tight as a tick, the performances are all spot-on, and New York actually looks like a place where you might want to live (as long as you don't mind relaxing in a state of danger). Catch this one!
Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Accidents is a real gem, October 10, 2008
By 
Bocaboy "BocaBoy" (Boca Raton, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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I'm a Marisa Tomei fan, so I was inclined to like this movie, but I was unprepared for its inventiveness and clever scripting. Ms. Tomei's performance was nuanced and engaging as was Vincent D'Onofrio's. This is essentially a two character play, and without their ability to make us believe in what we're seeing, the whole movie would dissolve into drivel. While that might be true of almost any movie, this one in particular has a plot that's a bit far fetched, so credibility is central to enjoying and appreciating this film.

I promise you, unless you're a dyed-in-the-wool meanie, you'll just love this story and the two performances that deliver it. This is really an undiscovered gem of a movie.

Highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You See Even One Bad Rating- IGNORE IT!, October 11, 2008
By 
This is a beautiful story and completly unexpected. I had no idea from the opening couple of minutes that this movie would turn out to be so wonderful. It left a real impact on me, one of those movies that makes you think about life and feel good about everything. Do not miss this movie. The acting was great, the story was fantastic, lots of familiar faces to add a real legitimacy to it. Unbelievable in every way. I can say without hesitation this is THE best movie I have seen in years.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, June 12, 2006
This review is from: Happy Accidents (DVD)
It was also a happy accident that I saw this movie. In fact, I checked it out from the library as a last resort for entertainment that evening. To my surprise, I found it completely enthralling, immensely entertaining and totally unforgettable---to use up all of the movie reviewers' generic phrases. But I mean them all. It's also hysterically funny in places that you don't expect it to be.

This is the first time I have ever been inspired to write a review for amazon at all. Definitely watch this movie--you won't be disappointed!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turned out to be quite a Happy Accident for me..., December 10, 2006
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This review is from: Happy Accidents (DVD)
At the time that I discovered this gem of a movie in my local video store I had actually never even heard of it. Now being a Vincent D'Onofrio fan I figured that at the very least I would enjoy watching him on screen (well, on my television) even if the film didn't turn out to be that great. And with Marisa Tomei as the other lead I thought, how bad can it be? It had a couple of positive reviews on the cover as well as a basic idea about the plot. Other than that I knew nothing about "Happy Accidents" until I sat down to watch it for the first time.

In a nutshell, and without giving too much away, I guess I would have to describe this movie as a very quirky and unusual love story. Marisa plays the part of Ruby, a young woman with a history of being attracted to men with lots of problems (mostly psychological problems). We get the idea from very early on that Ruby has had more than her fair share of past boyfriends with these so-called problems, as we see her and her two close girlfriends maintaining and updating a shoebox full of past relationship photos. Ruby just wants to meet the right guy. Is that really asking for too much? So she continues to try and try and try.

O.K., so in comes Vincent's character Sam, a sweet and sensitive young man who seems to be instantly drawn towards Ruby from the first time they meet. Before long they are falling in love and Sam has moved into Ruby's apartment. They're very cute together - a real chemistry. Initially, and probably because of Ruby's past history with so many strange men, she becomes a bit suspicious about some of Sam's quirks. Almost like a child who is just discovering the world for the first time, Sam seems to be curious and fascinated with almost everything. His wide-eyed amazement over every day things that most people take for granted is unusual, I suppose, but other than that he just seems to be a really sweet guy who is just a bit different. As Ruby begins to notice more and more of these quirks though she becomes a bit more suspicious. We see her consulting with her best friend as well as her therapist on a regular basis, but nothing seems to be too strange so she happily continues her relationship with her new live-in boyfriend.

So what about this relationship is so quirky? Is it the fact that Sam is always so evasive whenever Ruby asks him about his life, his family, his past, etc? Or is it the fact that there seems to be so much discrepancy in what he tells her versus what she discovers? Sam tells Ruby for example that he doesn't keep photos of his family because he doesn't like to live in the past. At first that seems to suffice until Ruby discovers family photos in Sam's wallet. Then there is the discovery of Sam's sea sickness pills, the glassy-eyed staring spells that overcome him from time to time and his obsessive drawings of someone named Chrystie Delancey. Eventually Ruby demands an explanation for what she refers to as Sam's idiosyncrasies and Sam reluctantly tells her that he is a back traveller from the year 2470.

So is Sam just someone who tells ridiculous stories in an attempt to impress or amuse his girlfriend? Is he just trying to maintain a sort of mystique about himself? Or, is Sam actually crazy? The only other option would be that Sam is telling the truth about being from the future. So what should Ruby believe? These are the questions that she finds herself facing as she struggles to either maintain or end her relationship with Sam. The challenge for the viewer of this unusual film is to decide for herself or himself what the real story behind Sam's story is. You wont find any spoilers in this review though. You have to decide for yourself.

I would highly recommend "Happy Accidents" for anyone who is looking for a very unusual love story. There are moments of drama, moments of comedy and an ongoing mystery that may still puzzle you even after the film ends. If you still aren't able to figure out what the deal with Sam really is you can always check out the DVD's audio commentary. Before returning this movie to the store I watched it a 2nd time. Then I decided to buy a copy and I never seem to grow tired of watching it. If you're a fan of Vincent or Marisa (or both) then you'll probably love this film. But even if you aren't a huge Vincent/Marisa fan you'll probably still love it. Its just a great film and one I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun, quirky, and very unusual love story.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Time Travel Romance, January 21, 2003
This review is from: Happy Accidents (DVD)
I thought "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve was the best time travel romance ever filmed until I saw this one. In that movie, we knew from the beginning that he was from the future because we got to see him hypnotize himself and make the trip.
Here we have only the word of Vincent D'Onofrio, who may be a delusional epileptic or a man of his word....P>Marisa Tomei pulls off one of her best roles as a codependent person in therapy who puts her love and trust into people before she gets to know them. She lets D'Onofrio move in after a week and deals with the consequences later. The story unfolds as she relates it to her best friend and also her therapist. The two women give her completely different advice, and we never know for sure how she will react. The onscreen chemistry between the leads is very magnetic. As we slip into the story, we tend to forget the two are acting.
Anthony Michael Hall factors into the story in an amusing way, and he has a cameo towards the end.
Brad Anderson's direction here is superb, transcending his work with "Next Stop Wonderland" and "Session 9" His range as a filmmaker is wide. "Session 9," which is about a group of asbestos removers who unravel as they work in the creepy confines of an old insane asylum, is a gripping portrayal of what happens as paranoia sets into the minds of a group of men who once trusted each other. Watch it, it stars David Caruso in his best performance since "NYPD Blue." As for film content, the two are not even similar.
Anderson stops a scene and turns it into a photograph as the characters tell their stories, and the montages and collages of imagery make you pause and absorb everything that is going on. The scenes where D'Onofrio's eyes glaze over and he watches time go backwards are unique and sometimes moving. This is a film that puts a wholly original twist on two themes we've seen many times before. We have never seen them pulled off like this. This is a movie anyone can enjoy, and the ending is one of the most emotionally powerful finales I have seen in a long time. This deserves repeat viewings. This is one of the films that you make everyone you know sit down and watch.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marisa Tomei and Vincent D�Onfrio give much needed substance, November 25, 2002
By 
This review is from: Happy Accidents (DVD)
The romantic comedy is something that people go to see because they know what will happen. The audience finds comfort in the fact that even though the plot may seem different, and the actors are new, the movie they are about to see is most likely going to be just like the romantic comedy they saw a month earlier. Brad Anderson's new romantic comedy "Happy Accidents" takes the basic concept that is known as the romantic comedy a step further.
The movie stars Marisa Tomei as Ruby Weaver, a New Yorker trying to overcome her codependency issues and find Mr. Right. When she meets Sam Deed, portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio, she falls immediately in love and he moves in with her within a week. As they relationship grows, Ruby begins to notice that Sam has many overly odd traits, he doesn't like dogs, has problems with everyday concepts, and has spells where he seems to be in a trance. Sam's explanation is that he is a back-traveler, actually from the year 2470, and that he came back when he saw a picture of her and fell instantly in love with her. Ruby at first takes this to be a new role playing game between the two and plays along, but as time progresses she sees that Sam isn't joking around. From here on out the picture focuses on the relationship and how Ruby deals with either believing Sam or accepting the fact that he is crazy and leaving him.
As Ruby, Tomei puts in quite a good performance. She doesn't seem to overplay the role and does a respectable job with a character that is in what seems to be a very silly situation. Likewise D'Onofrio takes Sam and makes him very realistic, even though the nature of his character is not one of a real disposition. The best scenes in the movie happen when it is just Tomei and D'Onforio on the screen; their chemistry seems to be entirely genuine.
The movie is overall, fairly predictable in terms of plot, but Anderson does a good job of providing the audience with meaningful insight into relationships in present day society. The almost ludicrous situation reveals truths that bring into play the concepts of idealism in relationships, and the trust we must provide our partners. The other way in which Anderson successfully brings "Happy Accidents" a step above the average romantic comedy are scenes in which Sam experiences his trances, which are actually time moving backward. During these scenes the audience is allowed to see through the eyes of Sam, and time seems to stop as the scene begins to replay itself backwards in slow motion. While this may seem like a distracting element, it actually adds reflection time to the film. The typical romantic comedy moves quickly and often doesn't give the audience much time to even think about the deeper issues at hand, (granted in many the issues aren't all that deep), but here Anderson not only gives his film substantial subject matter, he actually allows time for the audience to process it.
At first glance, "Happy Accidents" appears to be your average romantic comedy, with the basic plot, simplistic acting, and predictable ending. And while it is true that the movie is not overly complex, with overly dramatic acting, and a million twists and turns, Brad Anderson brings "Happy Accidents" to the next level. He takes the fundamental aspects of the romantic comedy genre and gives them substance. In turn he creates a movie that is actually interesting and relevant in today's society, making the enjoyment of the film anything but an accident
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Happy Accidents
Happy Accidents by Brad Anderson (DVD - 2002)
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