Serendipity

I found it difficult to get out of bed and over to work on the second day of Daylight Saving Time.  I returned home to have a late lunch and take a nap.  I considered going out to the library, but I stayed at home and watched “Serendipity.”  The only reason I was interested in seeing it was that it was mentioned in The LEGO Batman Movie.  I thought the entire premise of the movie was ludicrous.  In most romantic comedies, the universe puts up barriers to keep the lovers apart, but in this one, it’s the two principals who purposely make things difficult.  They either don’t value real love or have doubts that they deserve it if they should do something so stupid.  Instead of making decisions like mature adults, they leave their future up to fate.  Jon writes his phone number on a $5 bill, and Sara spends it on Certs.  If they were meant to be together, the $5 bill will come back to her.  Meanwhile, she writes her phone number on a copy of “Love in the Time of Cholera” and sells it to a bookstore somewhere in New York City.  In this make-believe world, Jon and Sara don’t get numerous crank phone calls from all the people who see their phone numbers.  I don’t see how this one night they spend together is so magical.  We discover that the freckles on Sara’s arm match the constellation Cassiopeia, and that Jon’s favorite movie is “Cool Hand Luke.”  I didn’t see this as true love.  It looked to me that Jon was pursuing Sara, and Sara’s response was lukewarm.  It didn’t surprise me that the screenwriter was a man, Marc Klein.  There was a cameo appearance by Buck Henry in the beginning, which served to remind us that “The Graduate” was a far better movie.  Eugene Levy played a minor character who wasn’t totally believable.  This is a movie that shows people not using the Internet to track down the vital information.  We see carbon copies and receipts, although Sara has an almost modern phone.  Jon’s best friend is Jeremy Piven, who reminded me of one of the actors in “The Rockford Files.”  Sara is engaged to a musician who reminded me of someone in “Six Feet Under.”  I suppose it doesn’t really matter who the two actors playing the main character are, because they were interchangeable with many others.  I don’t know what John Cusack was trying to do with his career back in 2001.  “Say Anything” and “High Fidelity” were successful films, but he got into a romantic comedy rut.  He was about 35 years old, but at some moments with the sour expression on his face, he looked older.  Kate Beckinsale was Sara.  Her character was British, which maybe was supposed to distract us from the fact that she was behaving stupidity throughout the story.  I don’t know how she could happen to see in a window posters for “Cool Hand Luke.”  I don’t know how she could throw a glove into the air so that it would land exactly where she wanted it.  Meanwhile, someone on a bicycle sings along with Hall and Oates’ “Sara Smile” loudly and badly right next to Jon.  That would not be totally impossible, although I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody out in the street singing a Hall and Oates song, even during the 1970s or 1980s.  Well, this movie is predictably predictable.  There are bits of mildly amusing humor along the way, but mostly the story is stale.  There are just too many questions about whether a relationship with someone you’ve known so briefly can work out at all.  The questions I really thought about at the end were about Jon’s girlfriend and the Marquez book.  The movie was released one month after 9/11, which in part explains why it escaped my attention.  If Batman actually liked this movie, his tastes are hugely questionable.  I watched a Laugh-In episode with John Wayne and Jill St. John.  I also watched “The Day of the Dolphin” with George C. Scott, which I liked a lot and which also had a Buck Henry connection.  Reportedly, Roman Polanski was originally set to direct it.  The plot sure took a strange turn.  I recognized some of the music on the soundtrack from “Day for Night.”  I read on IMDB that the two dolphins in the film escaped just before filming wrapped.  I think of 1973 as part of the good times.  We had movies like “Sleeper” and “The Sting” in the theatres.  Some of the people who died on March 15 include Julius Caesar (44 BC), Lester Young (1959), Benjamin Spock (1998), Ann Sothern (2001), Stuart Rosenberg (2007), and Ron Silver (2009).  Today is a birthday for Fabio (58), Dee Snider (62), and Mike Love (76).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for March 15, Frank Sinatra’s “September of My Years” won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1966, while Record of the Year went to Herb Alpert’s “A Taste of Honey,” and Tom Jones was Best New Artist.  In 2015,  Mike Porcaro, bassist for Toto, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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