Serendipity (film)

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Serendipity poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Chelsom
Produced by Peter Abrams
Simon Fields
Robert L. Levy
Written by Marc Klein
Starring John Cusack
Kate Beckinsale
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography John De Borman
Edited by Christopher Greenbury
Tapestry Films
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date
  • October 5, 2001 (2001-10-05)
Running time
91 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $28 million[2]
Box office $77,516,304[3]

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


Serendipty is a romantic drama about how the hand of fate affects two people who meet by chance at Christmas in New York.

During the Christmas 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 sharing dessert at Serendipity 3 together, where Sara reveals her opinion that fate determines a lot of her decisions in life. They say their goodbyes and leave, but both return to the same restaurant a short while later to retrieve missing things.

Considering this to be a stroke of fate, Jonathan and Sara decide to spend more time together, and at the end of a magical night they start to exchange phone numbers, but Sara's gets blown into the wind, which she takes as a bad sign. However, she comes up with the idea of putting their names and phone numbers out to the universe, his written on the back of a $5 bill, hers written in the front of a used book entitled, Love in the Time of Cholera that will be sold the following day. If they are meant to be together, they will find the items and contact each other.

Several years later, it's revealed that Jonathan is getting engaged to Halley Buchanan. On the same day, Sara (now in San Francisco), comes home to find her boyfriend Lars Hammond (John Corbett), a famous musician, proposing to her. As their respective wedding dates approach, each finds themselves with a case of cold feet resulting in each attempting to find each other again before their respective weddings. Jonathan finds an old receipt for the gloves and uses it to try to find Sara's contact information, and Sara takes a trip to New York with Eve, hoping that fate will bring her to Jonathan.

After Eve convinces her to give up the chase, they visit Serendipity. Eve is handed a $5 bill as change, which the audience sees has Jonathan's name and number on the back. When Sara returns to her hotel room, she finds Lars, who followed her to New York, and realizes marrying him would be a mistake.

The night of the rehearsal, Halley gives Jonathan a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera as a gift, and Jonathan finds Sara's name and number inside. He and Dean fly to San Francisco to find her, but upon arriving, they see Sara's sister, Caroline (who resembles her) through the window fooling around with her boyfriend. Jonathan gives up and realizes that maybe the reason he's chasing ghosts is that he doesn't really want to marry Halley.

On the plane home the next morning after breaking up with Lars, Sara realizes she has mistakenly taken Eve's wallet. But when paying for a headset from it, she discovers the $5 bill with Jonathan's name and number on it. She gets off the plane, tracks down Jonathan's address and goes there. Upon hearing from his neighbors of his wedding, she rushes to the Waldorf Astoria, and she's ecstatic to find out that Jonathan called off the wedding. Eve encourages Sara to find Jonathan.

Jonathan wanders Central Park, and comes upon Sara's jacket on a park bench. He uses it for a pillow while lying in the middle of the rink. He's for some reason brought the one black cashmere glove. As he's gazing up at the falling snow, a cashmere glove falls on his chest.

Realizing he has them both, he looks up to see where it came from and sees Sara, who has come to retrieve the jacket she'd left at the rink. They walk to each other, and 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 was shot in New Jersey, New York City, Ontario, and San Francisco, California in the spring of 2001. Following the 9/11 attacks, images of the World Trade Center towers were digitally removed from all skyline shots of New York City.


Critical reception[edit]

Serendipity received mixed to positive reviews; based on 130 reviews, the film holds a 58% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus states: "Light and charming, Serendipity could benefit from less contrivances."[4] On Metacritic, the film has a 52/100 rating, signifying "mixed or average reviews".[5]

Roger Ebert gave the film 1½ out of 4 stars.[6]

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #2 at the U.S. box office earning $13,309,241 in its opening weekend, behind Training Day. With an estimated budget of $28 million, this was the first of Chelsom's films to turn a profit.[2] After some of the biggest commercial failures of all time (Town & Country),[7] Serendipity marked the first of several box-office successes for Chelsom, peaking in 2009 with Hannah Montana: The Movie. The film grossed $50,294,317 in the domestic box office and $27,221,987 internationally for a worldwide total of $77,516,304.[3]


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

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.


  1. ^ "SERENDIPITY (PG)". Buena Vista International. British Board of Film Classification. October 31, 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Box Office Results from". Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Serendipity (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Serendipity". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Serendipity Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Serendipity Movie Review & Film Summary". Ebert, Roger. October 5, 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2014.  Bah Humbug !
  7. ^ "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

External links[edit]