Saccharine Island

Serendipity is a film for those of you who put lucky items under your pillow in order to dream about your future love, for those who think fate is romantic, that "happily ever after" is a good ending, and that Sleepless In Seattle was a great date movie.

The two leads in Serendipity are fated to be with each other. You know it. I know it. Our leads spend most of their time wondering if they know it or not. But by bumbling about, screwing things up one way or another, they manage to fall together at the end, without having to pay any of the relationship dues that people have to go through.

Now, to be fair, this is a particular kind of film, that exists only for the happy ending, and some entertainment along the way. There's some good bits, sure. Even a non-annoying supporting performance from Molly Shannon that I'm glad to see - I've always wondered whether she could play a character straight. She backs up Kate Beckinsale's female lead. Likewise, Jeremy Piven backs up John Cusack on the male side. They deliver their lines, they act confused, but determined about the hand of fate in their lives.

There's only one way to interpret the film. There's no depth to the characters. There's no real consequences to their actions. Weddings get cancelled, betrothals broken, but there's no fallout. The plot is the simplest straight-line device, keeping the fated characters apart until the last moment.

It's the kind of movie that sounds better in the pitch than it does on screen.

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