Serendipity (film)

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Serendipity poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Chelsom
Produced by Robbie Brenner
Simon Fields
Peter Abrams
Robert L. Levy
Written by Marc Klein
Starring John Cusack
Kate Beckinsale
Bridget Moynahan
John Corbett
Jeremy Piven
Eugene Levy
Molly Shannon
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography John De Borman
Editing by Christopher Greenbury
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates October 5, 2001
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $28,000,000[1]
Box office $77,516,304[1]

Serendipity is a 2001 romantic comedy film, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. It was written by Marc Klein and directed by Peter Chelsom. The music score is composed by Alan Silvestri.


During the Christmas shopping season in New York City, Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) meets Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) trying to buy the same pair of black cashmere gloves at Bloomingdale's. They feel a mutual attraction, and despite the fact that each is involved in other relationships, they end up eating ice cream at Serendipity 3 together, and soon exchange goodbyes. However, both realize that they have left something at the ice cream bar, and return only to find each other again.

Considering this to be a stroke of fate, Jonathan and Sara decide to go out on the town together, and ice skate on the Wollman Rink at Central Park. Jonathan teaches Sara about Cassiopeia, saying that the freckles on Sara's arm match the pattern of the Cassiopeia constellation. At the end of the night, the smitten Jonathan suggests an exchange of phone numbers. Sara writes hers down, but it flies away with the wind. Wanting fate to work things out, Sara asks Jonathan to write his name and phone number on a $5 bill, while she writes her name and number on the inside cover of a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera. If they are meant to be together, he will find the book and she will find the $5 bill, and they will find their way back to each other. Jonathan is not satisfied with this so they go into a hotel with 28 floors and enter into different elevators to see if they both choose the same floor. They each take a single glove from the pair they purchased, and each of them, ironically choose floor 23. A little boy gets on the elevator with Jonathan and presses the buttons, for virtually every floor. Causing Jonathan to arrive on floor 23 seconds after a somewhat disappointed looking Sara disappears inside an elevator. The two believe they've lost each other for ever.

Several years later, Jonathan is at an engagement party with his fiancé Halley Buchanan (Bridget Moynahan). On the same day Sara comes home to find her boyfriend Lars Hammond (John Corbett), a famous musician, proposing to her. As their wedding dates approach, each find themselves with a case of cold feet, and decide to return to New York in an attempt to find each other again.

Jonathan returns to Bloomingdale's in an attempt to find Sara. He meets a salesman (Eugene Levy) and eventually with the help of the salesman and Jonathan's best friend Dean Kansky (Jeremy Piven) Jonathan ends up with only an address. After additional research, Jonathan and Dean meet an artist who recalls that Sara lived with him for a short time after being referred by a placement company, which he identifies as being located in a shop next to Serendipity 3. Jonathan and Dean follow the lead to find that the agency has moved and its former location is now a bridal shop. Jonathan takes this as a sign that he is supposed to stop looking for Sara, and get married to Halley.

Sara takes her best friend Eve (Molly Shannon) with her to New York, where she visits the locations of her date, hoping that fate will bring back Jonathan. Celebrating Eve's birthday, Sara and Eve visit Serendipity. Eve is handed a $5 bill as change. At the Waldorf Astoria, Eve bumps into an old friend—Halley—who is there to get married the next day. Halley invites Eve and Sara to the wedding without anyone realizing the groom is Jonathan. Sara returns to her hotel room, where she finds Lars, who followed her to New York. While with Lars, she sees Cassiopeia in the sky, and breaks her engagement with him.

The night before their wedding, Halley hands Jonathan a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera as a gift, having noticed him picking up the book every time they're in a bookstore. It is the copy that Sara had written in, and he immediately sets off to find her. When he arrives at her house, he sees someone inside being intimate. Thinking it is her and now feeling foolish and defeated returns home for his own wedding.

Sara decides not to attend the wedding, and starts her journey home. On the plane, she finds that her wallet has been mistakenly switched with Eve’s. As she reaches inside to pay for a drink she realizes the $5 bill she hands the flight attendant is the one which Jonathan wrote on several years earlier. She gets off the plane to search for him. His neighbors tell her he’s getting married the same day. She rushes to the hotel, only to see a man, apparently cleaning remnants of the end of the ceremony. She is in tears and turning to leave, when the man cleaning up remarks, how sad that the wedding was called off. She leaves and later remembers she left her jacket in the park.

Jonathan who is wandering around Central Park, finds Sara's jacket on a park bench and wanders out onto what was the ice skating rink when they first met, but now is a roller skiing rink during the warmer weather where they spent that first day together. He lies down on the rink surface and uses the jacket as a pillow. As the first snowflake drops, he sees Sara. They introduce themselves to each other formally for the first time. The film concludes with Sara and Jonathan at Bloomingdale's, enjoying champagne on their anniversary at the same spot where they first met.



Serendipity (Music From The Miramax Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by Various
Released October 5, 2001
Label Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Columbia Records
Miramax Records

Not included within the release of the soundtrack

Box office[edit]

The film has grossed $US75,294,136. It opened at #2 at the U.S. box office raking in $US13,309,241 in its opening weekend, behind Training Day. With an estimated budget of $US28 million, this was the first of Peter Chelsom's films to turn a profit.[1] After some of the biggest commercial failures of all time,[2] Serendipity marked the first of several box-office successes for Chelsom, peaking in 2009 with Hannah Montana: The Movie.

See also[edit]

  • Serendipity
  • Missed connection is a term that describes the kind of situation where two people want to reconnect after an initial meeting but neither has the other's contact details.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Box Office Results from". Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "All-Time Best & Worst at the Box-Office". Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
| Movie budget records. (1997-2010). Retrieved from
| Serendipity. (2001). New York Times, Retrieved from
| Serendipity. (1997-2010). Retrieved from