Customer Reviews: Serendipity [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
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on October 19, 2005
I watched this film again after seeing it in theaters several years ago, and I had forgotten how cool it was. I remember overhearing a lady in the row in front of me groaning and complaining at every seemingly contrived moment of serendipity that befalls the "soul mates" played wonderfully by John Cusack and the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale, whom I could stare at forever as well as listen to her speak without ever growing tired of it. Anyhow, I guess I understood the lady's skepticism...this movie does appear to be so outlandishly contrived that it strains credibility. Yet, what appealed to me about this movie is that I had similar moments of serendipity/coincidences with a girl I dated in 2000. Seeing this film brings back my own trust me when I say that the things in this movie can happen to people. I'm one of those people.

Romantic comedies have the poor habit of following the standard, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy and girl reconcile, and all is happily ever after. This doesn't wander too far from that formula, but its so downright clever, watchable, and enjoyable that you can't help but fall in love with the story and characters. Romantic comedies also tend to feature interesting selections of music, and this one is no different. I actually enjoyed the song selections in this film and not one of them was familiar to me (using oldies that have appeared in countless other films). I especially got a kick out of Lars, the Yanni-esque boyfriend of Sara (Beckinsale). His new age music is poked fun at by Sara and her sidekick friend (played to comedic effect by an SNL-alum), but I actually thought that was cool about him. Eugene Levy also has a couple scene-stealing moments with his usual brand of comedic seriousness and Jeremy Piven plays the sidekick role he often plays in films.

This film throws every obstacle to keep the two apart and its an amusing development to watch. Overall though, you know the two are destined to be together and its just as well. So, for all the skeptics out there who find this film outlandishly contrived, please suspend your disbelief and realize that such romantic possibilities and coincidences are possible. I experienced it myself a few years ago, so that's why I find this film to be quite credible, not to mention funny and entertaining in its own right.
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VINE VOICEon April 1, 2008
I am not sure how much I believe in serendipity - good fortune discovered by accident also known as fate, but this movie could make a believer out of me. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale are wonderful together as soul mates that overcome every obstacle to be together! They are successful because it was meant to be. If you can't suspend reality, and just go with the flow, then this movie probably isn't for you. It is meant for those that can have faith.
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VINE VOICEon May 17, 2003
Do you believe in love? Fate? That everything happens for a reason? Astrology? Premonitions? Near misses of should-of-beens? Well, neither do I. However, this film is full of ALL of these things and come to find out the story is delightful!
John Cusack is a way-cool actor. He always plays the type of guy you want to root for to prevail in some off-the-wall struggle. Kate Beckinsale is nothing short of gorgeous and her British accent is a charming ingredient of this comical look at a love-story-gone-awry.
Cuscack & Beckinsale play a couple of New Yorkers who "accidently" meet up one night. Turns out, they REALLY hit it off. Due to a sequence of unlikely events, they are separated and go their separate ways.
A few years later both are supposed to be married - almost on the same day. Only problem is (you guessed it) by now they're supposed to marry different people. At the eleventh hour both start having second thoughts and begin having reveries about their one enchanting evening together.
The balance of the story traces their attempts to get back in touch with each other while their friends believe they've gone looney. The result is what is quite possibly the funnest & sweetest Romantic Comedy since WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.
If you have a date tonight, I would SERIOUSLY recommend this film. If you don't have a date tonight, find one & then watch it together. As a last resort, watch it by yourself. Remember: everything happens for a reason! OK, OK, maybe it doesn't - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy this DVD!
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on November 13, 2011
In my opinion John Cusak's best movie.
He & Kate Beckinsale are magic together.
The storyline is fantastic, the music
alluring, and the acting first class.
I have watched it at least 20 times.
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on January 12, 2005
Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, The Last Samurai,Black Hawk Down and Glory rank as my all time favorites so you can guage where I am coming from. All these titles I own and proudly display. Behind them I keep a stack of chick flicks that no one knows I have, Serendipity is one of them.

When my girlfriend asked me why I purchased it I told her the truth, I have a crush on Kate Beckinsale, and like John Cusack. Later, after viewing the movie I can say it is one of the better of the genre.

Many may disagree. And I don't need to address the plot, as it has already been covered. More fantasy than reality. More fluff than angst. But it does have the fate-magic-destiny thing down to perfection. I rate it with Sleepless in Seattle as the best of its type.
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VINE VOICEon January 5, 2012
I'll leave the review of the movie to others, but I forgot this was a Lionsgate release and they did what they usually do - they very slightly zoom into the image, resulting in a full screen 16:9 (1.78:1) aspect ratio for what was in theaters a 1.85:1 release.

While for most this will be no big deal, if you're looking carefully you CAN see a difference between this and the older letterboxed DVD.

A nit to be sure, but not one that needs to be there, especially when the 2002 Miramax release got it right.

Serendipity (2002 DVD)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 27, 2012

It's so hard to get a rom-com right - and when it happens - it tends to eek its way into the hearts of millions of movie fans around the world. "Serendipity" is one of those films. And at last fans can finally get their hands on a High Definition copy of it in 2012 (January in the USA and February in the UK). And I'm glad to say that this Miramax/Lionsgate BLU RAY boasts a gorgeous print and decent extras. And it's cheap too...

Defaulted to 1.78:1 ratio - the beautifully framed picture fills the entire screen with no bars top or bottom and no stretching of the image. And right from the get-go "Serendipity" looks 'so' good - crisp and clean images all the way through - with scene after scene using the New York locations to maximum effect. The soundtrack too has a strong 5.1 surround mix that amps up the great music.

Written by MARC KLEIN and Directed by PETER CHELSOM - its casting puts together two really smart, likeable and able actors - JOHN CUSACK and KATE BECKINSALE. They play Jonathan Trager and Sarah Thomas - an American guy and an English girl whose fate is set in motion by a store assistant placing a pair of gloves on the sale rack in Bloomingdales a few weeks before Christmas. They obtain the gloves from another customer through mutual skulduggery and then spend a magical night getting to know each other in snowy New York (he comments that her arm freckles resemble Cassiopeia in the constellations - dialogue above). After hours of talking and a gut feeling that 'something' stellar is afoot - they pass on their respective phone numbers to each other - hers on the inside flap of the Gabriel Marquez book "Love In The Time Of Cholera" and his on a five-dollar bill. But of course the winds of fate intervene (literally) and each gets lost. Four years later we find that both Jonathan and Sarah have moved on with their lives and are now engaged to differing but largely unsuitable partners. But of course neither can help but wonder - was that person in New York a million hours back their soul mate - their "Godfather" original and not Part 2 the sequel? And should they ditch what they've settled for now and go searching for what they really want? And on the story goes in a hugely enjoyable way...

In their manic searching and journey back to each other - they are ably assisted by a superb set of supporting roles - Jeremy Piven as Dean Kansky, Jonathan's loyal and witty friend, Molly Shannon as Sarah's scatterbrained pal Eve, John Corbett as a flute-playing egotistical musician trying to marry Sarah as long as it fits in with his European Tour and Eugene Levy as the eccentric and monthly-target-driven Bloomingdale's sales clerk. Both Piven and Levy have become huge since but can justifiably trace the public noticing them to this 2001 outing.

The use of music in the film also deserves a special mention. A lot of the time - the typical rom-com is populated with lazy and obvious choices - not here. Not only do the songs suit the scene and the mood conveyed - they're tunes you probably done know but would want to. Bap Kennedy was the lead singer with a short-lived Northern Ireland band called Energy Orchard who then put out a lovely solo album called "Lonely Street" in 2000. The track lifted off it is called "Moonlight Kiss". When Jonathan and Sarah are trying to get to each other in the last portion of the movie, Chelsom uses the stunning "Rose Rouge" by St. Germain (on their "Tourist" album - itself due for a DELUXE EDITION double in 2012) which features a sample of Marlena Shaw chanting "I want you to get together..." over an incessant drum beat. There's the ethereally beautiful "Northern Sky" by England's Nick Drake on the ice rink ("I've never felt magic crazy as this...") and Annie Lennox's cleverly re-arranged cover of Bob Marley's "Waiting In Vain". There are also nice contributions by John Mayer, Shawn Colvin and Heather Nova. But the unsung gem here is an acoustic instrumental that's used as link-music throughout the entire film. It's by England's David Gray and is called "January Rain" - it turned up on his lesser-heard "Lost Songs 95-98" CD along with the equally moving "Flame Turns Blue" (which I hope to use in a screenplay one day).

To sum up - like George Clooney's "One Fine Day", Pierce Brosnan's "Laws Of Attraction" and Richard Gere's "Shall We Dance" - "Serendipity" is an underrated but properly lovely watch - and this BLU RAY finally does full justice to its multiple charms.

Get all metaphysical on yo ass people - and buy it.

BLU RAY Specifications:
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Surround 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (Full Screen)
Language: English
Subtitles: English and English for the Hard-Of-Hearing.

Bonus Features:
1. Feature-length Commentary
2. Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary
3. Behind The Scenes Documentary - "On The Set"
4. Production Diary
5. Theatrical Trailer
6. Storyboard Comparison

PS: check out other great films by Director Peter Chelsom - "Hear My Song" (1991), "Funny Bones" (1995), "The Mighty" (1998), "Town And Country" (2001) and "Shall We Dance" (2004) [see REVIEW].
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on August 24, 2013
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.
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on June 6, 2014
To be honest, I could not remember if I saw this movie. Admittedly, I likely watched it drunk the first time. But even so, it highlights a very important point: this movie doesn't have any striking elements. But, as I watched Serendipity the second time, the memory of it slowly came back to me.

Without beating around the bush too much, I must say that this movie fails to produce anything novel regarding the romantic genre. It is just too tame. Way too simple. More a safe bet than the filmmakers should have been striving for (excuse the hanging prep).

I will admit, Kate Beckinsale is a lovely woman. And I enjoy John Cusack. But their on-screen interaction can't be more than 15-20 minutes throughout the film. Makes for a very flimsy love story in my book.

Even so, this flick's concept has its merits. What person hasn't wanted to leave true love up to fate? And in that spirit Serendipity allows its audience to dream a pleasant dream. I just wish there were more interaction between the prospective lovers.
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on May 24, 2016
I like Kate Beckinsale, so that is why I decided to watch this movie. It was not terribly believable, but it did have its charm. Since both of the leads are involved with other people while falling in love with each other and working out their own romance, I was interested to see how they would accomplish that without being complete jerks. Kate Beckinsale's character achieves that better than John Cusack's character, but at least they both resolve their other relationships before they (finally) get together. No, I don't believe in soul mates any more now than I did when I started watching this movie, but it is the kind of movie that leaves you in a good mood despite the unrealistic premise. I don't regret seeing it. Would I watch it again? Probably not.
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