America’s Sweethearts (Movie – 2001)

Stars:  Julia Roberts, John Cusack, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones|

A Saturday night choice on Netflix brought me to America’s Sweethearts.  When  it began, I couldn’t remember if I had seen the movie or not, but as it progressed I vaguely remembered a few scenes.  That tells you what a lasting impression this movie made upon me when I initially saw it – pretty much zilch.

Interesting that two of my favorite males, John Cusak and Billy Crystal starred in the movie, along with two female stars I’ve never really gone gaga over – Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  I don’t know why I’ve never gravitated toward Julia, not to say she hasn’t done some good work in the past.  I think it’s that laugh of hers that drives me nuts. Nor do I feel terribly enthralled with Catherine based on the types of movies she’s stared in, except perhaps Zorro. Most of what she does is romantic fluff. I even liked her less in America’s Sweethearts, as she plays a narcissistic movie star who thinks the world revolves around her as she irritatingly orders around her sister to wait on her hand and foot.

John Cusak, though slightly a bit crazy in his character, is one of my favorite actors.  I loved in him Serendipity and a few others.  He’s entertaining in this movie.  Billy Crystal is Billy Crystal.  The same comedic personality you’ve watched throughout the years is there to give you a chuckle.

Now, as far as the premise of the movie and actual entertainment, I’d give it a yawning two kernels.  Oh, there are a few amusing semi-chuckles that may tickle your funny bone.  Basically, in a nutshell that is easy to crack, it’s about two married movie stars who have played together on screen for years.  They are in essence, America’s Sweethearts but have since separated and headed for divorce.  As their last movie is about to be pre-screened to the press, they come together one last time in a semi-civil appearance as husband and wife to promote the movie.  There are a few other side plots and a romantic get together, but other than that, I’ll probably forget the movie once again.  



Serendipity (2001)

4 Kernels

Stars: John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale

Okay, okay. Every once in a while I get sucked into a sappy contemporary comedy. I even run out and buy the soundtrack. I will admit, this one rates high on my sap list.

There are a few harsh reviews on Amazon regarding the believability. Is it because in today’s society the idea of “soul mates,” “fated as lovers,” “you are my destiny” and “made for each other,” is pretty much dead? I suppose if they really existed, I don’t think the divorce rate would be as high. Serendipity, though, wants you to believe and have faith.

When a movie like Serendipity comes along and presents the notion there is more out there than what you’ve settled for, you have a choice. What if something in your gut tells you the chance of a lifetime slipped through your fingers on one cold winter’s night? You can ignore the tug upon your heart or make sure you’re not hallucinating. It’s a fantasy-filled love story of possibilities; or a bunch of idiotic trash depending on whether you wear those rose-colored glasses or not.

Where do I stand? I’m one of the disenchanted in the realm of love, but I still believe in soul mates, fated lovers, and the made for each other mentality. I do believe something can spark in the heart of two people who meet and instantly know they’d be good together, even if it’s only in one night. Enter Serendipity – that fortuitous happy accident, when the stars align and all is right with the universe.

However, like all movies there is a need for conflict to keep the ball rolling. Their fateful moment slips away, and years later they are attached to others and about to be married. Haunted by the possibilities, as they accept the less-than-perfect mates they are soon to wed (let’s hear a cheer this happens before they are married), they embark on finding that elusive individual they met years ago. Impossible? Probably. Hard to believe they did find each other? Yes. Yet, this is make-believe. It’s a movie, not reality, and is meant to leave you warm and fuzzy inside or disgruntled over the load of crap you just watched.

John Cusack, as usual, is terrific. The comedy is sweet. The frustration believable. That crazy book with the inside cover you’re waiting for him to flip over and see fated writing inside – priceless. Especially, when he receives it as a wedding present from his fiancee. Yes, two people get hurt, but better yet saved from marrying someone who carried doubts and unresolved “what if’s” into a marriage that probably would not have lasted anyway.

My Favorite Lines: (Sara) You don’t have to understand. You just have to have faith. (Jonathan) Faith in what? (Sara) Destiny