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, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, is one of best romantic movies ever made, in that it's incredibly heartwarming, with clever plotting and wonderful performances all around.
And it's also one of the worst romantic movies ever made, in that it perpetuates a pernicious myth, namely that serendipity—a series of "fortunate accidents," as the word is defined in the film—is indicative of the universe acting out some master plan to bring two "soulmates" together (in this case, the characters played by Cusack and Beckinsale).
(Even Moynahan buys into this to some extent, asking Cusack, days before their wedding, to tell her that there is no one else in the world for him but her.
We aren't told anything about how their relationship developed, but we are left to presume that it involved traditional dating rather than a series of contrived happenstance—not as breathtakingly romantic as Cusack and Beckinsale's meeting, perhaps, but likely more deep and meaningful.
But Moynahan's character loses the man she was to marry because he decides to chase after a series of cute but random coincidences in order to find a woman he'd shared a few charmed hours with years ago, rather than stay with the woman he'd come to love and cherish over time.
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Perhaps, deep down, Cusack didn't want to marry Moynahan—as his best friend, played by Jeremy Piven, suggests after their search for Beckinsale hits an apparent dead-end the night before Cusack's wedding.His quest for Beckinsale could have been guided by his subconscious trying to reveal his hesitance toward the marriage.Maybe Cusack and Moynahan even had problems that we don't know about, but the filmmakers didn't suggest that, implying instead that they simply had a "normal" relationship while the promise of a "magical" one lingered in Cusack's mind since his one and only meeting with Beckinsale.The unsubtle point of the movie is that there is one true love for everyone, and if you miss that person, you are stuck with the "wrong" person (or a series of wrong persons) for the rest of your life.
When I first watched , at least.) But watching it last night, after ten years of life experience (that is, failed relationships), I see it rather differently.Rather than embracing the "predestined" love affair between Cusack and Beckinsale, this time I felt more for Cusack's bride (played by Bridget Moynahan).