Thursday, December 31, 2009

Serendipity (2001)

Directed by Peter Chelsom. A lot of today's movies feature main characters with clear personality disorders who are portrayed simply as very focused on something they want. Simply put, Hollywood is oblivious to narcissism. They think it's a virtue.

And actually there is some great older cinema that portrays narcissism with verisimilitude. One of my personal favorites is a 1946 Warner Bros. effort entitled "The Big Snooze." In this color film, a hunter named Elmer Fudd wants nothing more than to feed his family while a egotistical rabbit needs not only to protect himself physically but to gratify himself emotionally by inflicting pain on Fudd, with no sense of empathy or awareness of Fudd's physical limits.

"The Big Snooze" uses the personality disorder suffered by the rabbit (a cartoonish character named "Bugs Bunny") as its source of comedy, which distinguishes it from contemporary films such as 2001's "Serendipity." "Serendipity" stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as two people ("Jonathan" and "Sara") so destined to be a couple they treat the people they are engaged to instead like crap. The movie suggests that Beckinsale's fiancee deserves it because he makes New Age music, kind of like Yanni. This is played for laughs as a matter of assumption, not because anybody says or does anything funny.

Jonathan and Sara are not happy with the people they plan to marry but stay in those engagements because nothing better seems around the bend. Still, as their respective wedding days approach, they research and scheme finding each other -- their preferred mates. Once clues are unearthed and fate or destiny or whatever seems sealed, they make like Bugs Bunny and dynamite the hell out of the unsuspecting fools wasting time with them.

See this movie with someone you love and then minutes afterward leave them for someone prettier.

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