Wednesday, 14 December 2016

12 Days of Christmas Films #12

It's now 12 days till Christmas (eek) so, I'm going to make things a bit festive over here and do a countdown of my favourite Christmas films in the lead up! Disclaimer: Love Actually will not be featured on this list because I'm part of the small population of people who hate that film.


If you're still at work/school/uni like I currently am, you're probably not in full frontal Christmas spirit. Serendipity is one of those films that slowly eases you into Christmas because it's not an ostensibly (not sure if this is the right word) Christmassy. In fact it's not ostensibly anything. It's one of those very flawed, forgettable films that you only whip out around this time of the year and you can sort of watch in the background? But it still fulfils its purpose of getting you slightly more excited and feeling all cosy and hygge.

The film stars John Cussack and Kate Beckinsale as Jonathan and Sarah; two characters who meet at a Christmas store when they're both trying to buy the same gloves. Of course (!) there's an instant spark because what are the chances, am I right or am I right?! They then decide to share a desert at a cafe called Serendipity, they go ice skating, they fall in love  - obvs. Inconveniently however, they're in relationships with other people. Sara I guess is a bit of hippy and gives us a speel about fate determining all her decisions and they agree that if it's meant to be, if fate is on their side, they'll meet again.

What then ensues is essentially fate banging at the front door. I mean they meet again literally 5 minutes later. The funny thing about this film is it's obviously trying to evoke that feeling of: will they, won't they ... but fate is on their side! ... it's so romantic!  The screenplay so wants us to be super frustrated every time their paths cross. But there's a moment in a every rom-com I believe when you know, because the screenplay makes it ostensibly (well I'm love throwing this word around today don't I?!)  that your characters are going to be okay and find each other again.This moment happens in the first 10 minutes which essentially means you can just switch off after. I normally grab a book or have a nap at this point. I would however recommend looking up for the ice skating scene and the last twenty minutes. Both sweet moments. But honestly the sequences that follow their first meeting are so ridiculous, it's  more witchcraft than destiny.

Serendipity for me, is one of those films instigates all those feelings of Christmas spirit despite its many many flaws. You watch it being fully aware that this was John Cussack's most side eye career move and, that Beckinsale is far too intelligent and talented to play such a hollow character. You watch it knowing the plotline is conceptually basic and flawed. You watch it knowing Sara and Johnathan wouldn't make it to Valentine's Day. But I think your enjoyment of it lies solely in your ability to a. get over all of this for the sake of Christmas; and embrace the "magic" (you know the snow, ice skating, coffee, falling in love with the backdrop of Christmas, Cussack and Beckinsale's chemistry)  of it all.


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