Destiny. Have no doubt: Jonathan and Sara (Cusack and Beckinsale) will end up together
dir Peter Chelsom
scr Marc Klein
with John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale, Jeremy Piven, Molly Shannon, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Eugene Levy, Lucy Gordon, Kate Blumberg, Evan Neuman, Kevin Rice, Leo Fitzpatrick
release US 5.Oct.01; UK 26.Dec.01
01/US 1h30

3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
can once in a lifetime happen twice? This is a charming romance in the Sleepless in Seattle mould--that is, you know immediately where it's going but it takes ages to get there. Cusack and Beckinsale meet in Bloomingdales at Christmas, share a magical evening and then leave it to fate whether they will ever meet again. "A few years later," both are on the verge of getting married (to Manhattan socialite Moynahan and wacky musician Corbett respectively), when they become obsessed with finding each other and enlist their best friends (Piven and Shannon, respectively) to help. Destiny takes its time. Well, 90 minutes.

With effortlessly engaging performances from both Cusack and Beckinsale, the film can hardly fail to win us over, even if there's never a moment of doubt how it will end up. There's a nice twist on all the talk about fatalism, if you look close enough, but who really cares. The important thing is to have moments of gushy emotion (lots of that) and inspired humour (this too, including gut-busting comedy whenever Levy is on-screen). It's all very silly and overly sweet, dragging out the inevitable until the last possible moment, and then some. But the sheer charm of it all works wonders.
adult themes, language cert 12 5.Nov.01

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
can once in a lifetime happen twice? send your review to Shadows... "It is Christmas shopping time in New York and two people reach for the same pair of black cashmere gloves ... and hit it off. That is serendipitous - they found someone they could connect to. But Sara (Beckinsale) is superstitious about too many things and, when she writes her number on a piece of paper which is blown away by a passing car before Jonathan (Cusack) can take it, she interprets that as a sign that maybe she should not give him her number. She believes if they are meant to be together, they will find each other again. Years later, it is the week he is getting married, and she has a new love.... I liked this movie - it is a sweet love story, they meet again against all odds and you know what is going to happen. But I just gotta say one thing, duh! She meets a great guy she can talk to, they hit it off and instead of blessing her lucky day, she has to push her luck. How much luck can one person expect to have? You like him, he likes you, you can TALK - yet she has to make it harder by playing games. Personally, I don't believe in pressing my luck that much and can't believe she let the guy get away. Oh well, that is just me - it is a sweet story, you know how it will end, but it is fun getting there." --Laurie T, Minneapolis 7.Oct.01
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall