What movie? This one!
How is it, you ask? Well, I will tell you! It's terrible! "But why, JJ? Why is it so bad?" you are probably asking.
Well, I am happy to tell you. It's not because John Cusack is the male lead. Although I don't like him much ...anymore. I used to. The guy used to be one of my favourite guys! You know why? No, not Lloyd Dobler. Although I do like the scene when he is talking to his friends hanging out in the parking lot outside the convenience store and he says "If you guys know so much about women, how come you're hanging around in a parking lot on a Saturday night?"
His buddy: "(Pause)...by choice, man...yeah...by choice (other guys chiming in affirmatively)..."
Good stuff, yes. But not the reason! The reason? Lane Meyer. The lead character in the movie "Better Off Dead". Oh my goodness I love that movie! And his character is the best! The perfect "nerd makes good" movie! I wanted to be Lane Meyer! The movie has occupied a warm place in my heart since the first time I saw it. But, what do I hear recently? Cusack was shown a cut of the movie before it was released and he HATED it! Why? Because he thought it made him look foolish. Refuses to talk about it to this day. How can that be? Jerk! I mean: "Two dollars!" Right?
If I was John Cusack, I would hate this!
Ok, back to Serendipity. The reason I didn't like it was also not because Jeremy Piven played the best friend. I mean, I like Jeremy Piven okay and everything. But the guy is a dick, right? Any role he plays, he comes off as a dick. Even Ari Fleischer! His character was a professional dick! He tries to play a nicer guy here. Yet the dick just keeps coming through!
Was it the fact that Cusack's character spends almost the entire movie stringing his perfectly nice fiancee along when he actually wants this other woman? Not really. I mean, I didn't like that so much. Not so much that he was doing it, I mean people do that kinda stuff all the time, right? I get that. But the movie seems to kinda celebrate it? That kinda thing is understandable, people are only human, after all (no duh!), but ain't no need to celebrate it.
What really bugged me? What almost always bugs me in hollywood movies. "Oh! This woman I met for 5 minutes! I think she/he is actually my "soul mate"! And if we got together, it would be happily ever after! Trouble free life from then on! Happens all the time in movies. Even in kids movies. I went to see "Hotel Transylvania" with my boys. It's about this girl vampire. The first boy she meets who is anywhere near her age...ohhhh, the "spark"! Soul mate! Really? She is a teenager and is kept from all other boys until she meets this one. And then she gets "the spark"? It's like, no kidding, she wants to "get with" him, but "soul mate"? Come on.
Fuck. It's such bullshit. "Soul mate". There is one person out there for me, and I just have to find that person and then its smooth sailing from then on!
First of all, you know how many people there are on earth? Seven billion. Seven billion people. You are going to find the one person in the world who is right for you. And your odds are one in seven billion. Ouch! Bad odds! Your soul mate could be a pygmy in Africa! Oh my gosh, I can't believe out of seven billion people, I met my soul mate in the same town! Amazing!
But what's worse? The notion that the hard work is in the finding. And then, after that, you're good. That shit offends me. Because being in a relationship is hard! There is no happy ever after. It's a struggle. Believe me, I know! I'm a casualty! Gotta communicate! Gotta work! Gotta be flexible!
My parents stayed together until the end. Was it because they were "soul mates"? No. It's because they worked at it, and compromised, and endured. And to me, just attributing their relationship's longevity to "soul mate"? That denigrates their accomplishment. And denigrates the accomplishment of any couple's ability to stay together for a long time. And yet you see it over and over again. Makes me wanna puke!
Meet JJ in Montauk!
I think that's one reason why one of my favourite movies is "The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind" (one reason, there are many others - that movie is the shit! Right?). The movie doesn't assume "soul mate". It looks at love in real terms. Looks at how there are roadblocks ahead for this couple, without doubt. And celebrates the fact that they decide to go for it anyways (now that IS a thing that should be celebrated!).
Ok! I have said my peace! Make of it what you will! JJ out!