Serendipity is one of those movies that tells you how accidental meetings can turn into true love. Find out what other lessons this movie can teach.
Fortunate accident. Pleasant surprise. Serendipity. This movie made us believe that things are happening for a reason, and that there are fortunate accidents in life. Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sarah (Kate Beckinsale) made us look for signs, made us believe in fate, and made us familiar with the word Serendipity.
What I learned from watching Serendipity
And like all romantic comedies, there are a couple of things that we can take with us after watching it. Here are some of the things I learned from watching Serendipity.
#1 Do not be dissuaded by a crazy mall full of frantic shoppers, doing last minute Christmas shopping. The opening scene of the movie follows a pair of black gloves that makes its way to a store shelving, where we first meet our main characters.
On a greater comparison, we are often met with turmoil like this, and what do we do? We run toward the opposite side. We shouldn’t. We never know what great things lay ahead. Take the risk. After all, if it’s worth having, it won’t come easy. And in this case, love didn’t come easy for our two main characters.
#2 Yes. No. Yes. No. Maybe. Perhaps. No. I mean, Yes. Do you often find yourself changing your mind, especially when it comes to big decisions like moving out or where you want to work or if you are marrying the right person? Like what Jonathan and Sarah exhibited in the movie, it is okay to change your mind. If you do not believe that you want something, it’s perfectly okay to take an alternate route.
In the movie, Jonathan and Sarah were, at some point, certain about their engagements. What bothered them was the chance meeting that they had a couple of years back, and they both wanted to check each other out before proceeding with their marriages.
And the funny thing was, even if they did not get to see each other again before their scheduled weddings, they both canceled it. And that’s why it is okay to change your mind. Do not get trapped in something that you are not certain about.
#3 Do you often find your mind flying into that direction several times a day? Do you often find yourself daydreaming about it? Thinking about it? Even if you try to squeeze it out of your mind? Then perhaps the reason why it’s bothering you so much is because you want it. Don’t fight the feeling.
This is what exactly happened to our two characters in Serendipity. They stopped fighting the urge to put the past behind, and started to look for something that can lead them back to each other.
#4 “I saw Sarah in the golf course, then she was trying to cut my hair, and then this guy kept singing Sarah.” Mythical signs. Random things that we think are reminding us of someone or something. We all believe in this, some are steadfast in their opposition toward signs and say that these are just coincidences. But whether or not we believe in signs, what matters is what we feel about it. If we have no existing feelings for a person named Sarah, we would not be affected by the many Sarahs that we may get in contact with.
We can choose to believe in signs, in fate or in destiny, that things happen because they are supposed to happen, but like what Sarah said in the movie, we still have control over what we do.
#5 May the force not be with you. Sometimes, we tend to really push ourselves toward something because we want it badly, and we try everything in our power to get it or to get there. Do you ever feel like even though you have given it your everything, you still cannot get that one thing, no matter how hard you have tried? Then this might be the time that you need to stop and just not force things.
If you have exhausted all means in trying to get something, just like what Jonathan and Sarah did to get back to each other, then perhaps it was not really meant to be at that point in time. But look at what happened to them. When they were not looking, they finally found their way back to each other.
#6 Which brings us to our next point, sometimes, you find the things that you want when you are not looking. So contrary to being a go-getter and going after what you want, it is also okay to just wait. Especially when you have exhausted all means and have given a lot of effort, perhaps you just need to wait for the proper timing.
#7 You are allowed to be tired. And give up. Just like Jonathan who stopped his search, we are all human, and our emotions can only hold out for so long. Even our physical adeptness cannot contend with searching for a needle in a haystack called New York City.
Jonathan was not even sure if Sarah was still in New York, and he still searched anyway. But when you do give up on something, allow yourself ample recovery time to get back up on your feet again.
#8 The rationale behind looking for Sarah. If you remember what Jonathan told his best friend as to why he needed to go search for Sarah, he said something along the lines of this: Halley (the current fiancée) is like the Godfather Part II. And Sarah is the Godfather Part I. You have to see the original to understand and appreciate the sequel.
This can also be applicable to a majority of things in life. You cannot move forward to the next chapter without sealing what was left behind. It is something only we, humans, can understand.
#9 The last big blow. You know what they say before getting married or before diving into a serious relationship? Have that one last fling! You heard that right, it would not hurt to flirt and get involved in a harmless fling before getting your head and heart straight into just one and one individual alone.
#10 Let the sparks fly. There are only a few people in the world that you have sparks with, so keep them. You know how it is when you first talk to someone, and somehow, you zone out the world and zoom into them and there is no one else in the room?
You don’t always feel that way towards every person who picks you up in the bar or some random stranger you get to chat with in public places. There is only one person that makes you feel that way at a certain point in time, and when you meet this person, do not ever let them go… unless fate intervenes, of course.
#11 And if fate intervenes, leave it all to her then. If you are meant to meet again, you will meet again.
#12 But fate is not an exact science, it is a feeling. Serendipity is all about following your instincts, what your heart desires, and not what your head says. It was rash of both Jonathan and Sarah to suddenly stop their daily routines and look for each other, but it was what their feelings were telling them. And it proved to be very fulfilling because in the end, they were back in each other’s arms.
Movies like Serendipity pack what would normally happen in years into a 90 minute film. Everything is scripted and well thought of, even what the characters would wear. But it does not mean that it cannot be real.