Sunday, January 17

Serendipity: Best Romantic Movie Ever

For those who haven't already known, I'm a sucker for love stories, especially ones with a hopeful ending. Not necessarily happy, but definitely hopeful. Throughout the years, movies based on that Great Love comes and goes, but I will always come back to one particular movie whenever I feel the need for a perk-me-upper. And that movie is Serendipity. This 2001 romantic comedy flick was directed by Peter Chelsom, and starred by John Cusack (Jonathan Trager) and the beautiful Kate Beckingsale (Sara Thomas). The story is about finding a soulmate through chains of fortunate accidents, of serendipity. As a writer, I have learned that acts of coincidence are suspect; they are highly discouraged, because there is no coincidence in fiction. In life, yes. Sometimes life is all about whole strings of coincidences, of fortunate accidents. But in fiction, the author may arrange for things to appear as coincidences, but to actually plant one is considered cheating. However, rules are sometimes meant to be broken, and this particular movie broke that no-coincidence rule. Just imagine, two perfect strangers accidentally grabbing the last pair of black gloves, then because they either are subtly attracted to each other, or don't find each other repulsive, goes to this pastry shop, part ways, then bump into each other again because both forgot their packages at that shop. And because Sara is a firm believer of fate, she makes Johnathan write his full name and number on the back of a $5 note, then buys some mint using that note, and later on writes her name and number on the first page of 'Love in the Time of Cholera' and sells it to a used bookstore dealer in New York. And fate decrees they part ways. Fast forward to eight years later. Both of them have their own fiances, and are about to get married (not to each other). Jonathan has never actually stopped looking for Sara, always checking that particular book throughout New York, and Sara, who's now based in San Francisco, keeps on flipping $5 notes to see if Johnathan's name is on the other side. Both of them are getting cold feet, asking 'what if'. But fate decides to play a trick on them. They are always within reach, but never get to come face to face. Towards the end of the movie, Jonathan's fiance gifts him with the book he's always been looking for, while Sara mistakenly carries her best friend's purse, with the special $5 note in it. But Jonathan is scheduled to get married that afternoon. So. More fate-related occurrences happen, but the story culminates to my favorite part, the part where I always look forward to in every love story. Jonathan is lying down at a skating rink in Central Park. Soft flakes of snow float down, and it is cold. But Jonathan doesn't really care. He has just lost his fiance, and he has to give up his search for his soulmate too. He is still alive, he feels the biting cold. That much he is thankful for. He doesn't feel hopeless, just a sense of freedom. At least he tried. At least he searched for his supposed soulmate. Then, just as the snow starts to build up, a black glove floats down and lands on his supine body. He checks the glove, and the one lying beside him. He has always been holding one glove, and not a pair. He sits up, looks around, and finds Sara standing there, eyes glistening with tears. They walk toward each other, tentative, unsure. They meet halfway. He reaches out his hand to shake hers. "Hi, I'm Jonathan," he says. "I'm Sara." They stand still for a while. Then, he reaches down just as she reaches up. And they kiss, soft, long, taking their time learning about each other. They have found each other. That moment, that perfect moment when everything falls into place, that special kiss with that perfect background music, that's the exact moment I always wait for. It doesn't matter what life has in store for them after that. In that moment, they are in love. And that's all that matters. I don't know. Maybe it's weird for a guy to love all this stuff, but I keep asking, why not? Who says such things cannot happen in real life? Who says people have to know one another at school or university or work for them to fall in love? What's wrong with thinking that one day it's possible to just bump into someone, and have that someone turn out to me my soulmate? Well, for one thing, I'm still single after breaking off with that special girl in uni. Why didn't I contact her? I still think about her fondly from time to time, but it just doesn't feel right. And I want to feel right about someone. I want to feel passionate, and when that passion settles, I want to stay in love. So. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy Serendipity and feel good watching it.