Serendipity Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
When Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) and Sara Thomas (Kate Beckinsale) both reach for the last pair of black cashmere gloves at Bloomingdale’s during the Christmas rush, Jon is convinced this is the start of a wonderful introductory offer. Obviously smitten beyond the mitten herself, Sara agrees to a stop for a bite at the quaint Serendipity patisserie, followed by a romantic glide across the ice at scenic Wollman Rink.
Still floating above the sidewalk, Jon is ready to drop his life at Sara’s door. Eager to grasp the tiny scrap of paper that Sara has scratched her name and number upon, an ill wind suddenly sweeps the note out of their hands. Convinced fate has intervened, Sara puts on the brakes and proposes that if it is the will of destiny to bring them together, it will happen again. Putting John’s name and number on the back of a fiver (which she spends on candy), and inscribing her phone number into a copy of Gabriel Marquez’s story of patient romance, Love In The Time Of Cholera (which she intends to sell at a book store the next morning), Sara slips out of Jon’s sight.
Skipping ahead a few years, the next hour of the movie is akin to riding a New York subway—you know exactly where things are headed and what the destination will be—it’s just a matter of seeing who will get on and off the train. As a result, when we find the fateful couple living on opposite coasts preparing to tie the knot with separate love interests, we already know these unfortunate second fiddles won’t be sending out Thank-you cards.
A short unnecessary sexual scene between two secondary characters, some mild spoken innuendo, and a smattering of profanities push Serendipity just out of reach of our recommended grades. Yet the many cute misunderstandings and witty moments (the best example being Eugene Levy playing a strong-willed suit salesman) turn this paint-by-number plot into a pleasant distraction for female teens and anyone else craving coincidental courtships.Starring John Cusack Kate Beckinsale. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release October 5, 2001. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Serendipity rated PG-13? Serendipity is rated PG-13 by the MPAA
Those seeking a romance where the best surprise is no surprise, will fall in love with Serendipity. Others looking for the least little turn in the road will find counting their popcorn to be more exciting. As for the teen female crowd, there’s no doubt they’ll love the premise, but parents may be cool to a few sexual banters and an unnecessary depiction of sexual activity.
Woman falls when skating, scratches arm. Father, son, and another man briefly stuck in elevator. Man threatens and tries to bribe salesclerk. Music video shows Viking characters with swords. Men tussle with each other in several scenes. Dog knocks man over. Woman hit with golf ball on two occasions (no serious injury inflicted). Characters make mocking remarks about New Age philosophies.
Sexual Content: C-
Affectionate kisses exchanged between friends shown on several occasions. Man makes joke inferring woman getting sex change operation. Woman asks man about his favorite sexual position. Man jokes about woman’s intentions when she suggests they enter hotel. Man jokingly refers to being his male friend’s "first wife." Two engaged couples seen kissing a few times—at least one of these couples obviously living together. Woman talks to fiancé in a sensual way about getting undressed and into bed. Woman wears midriff revealing clothes. Man says woman sat on him, but meant she sat "for" him as artistic model. Woman infers two women may be lovers, to which one of the women jokes about her friend being lesbian (which they are not). Man talks about strippers being entertainment at pre-wedding party. Man and woman (secondary characters) obviously engaged in sex seen through window three brief times—both obviously naked, although we only see his back.
At least: 6 moderate profanities, 10 mild profanities, and 8 terms of Deity used as profanities or expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B
Woman asks friend about man’s drunkenness. People drink alcohol in bar setting. Main character attempts to light cigarette. Two brief shots show man drinking beer. Woman holds beer bottle. Couple drinks champagne.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Serendipity after the break...
Serendipity Parents' Guide
How can depending on “fate” to rule your life become dangerous if applied to reality? What are some other ways Sara could have determined if Jonathan was the “right” man for her? Considering how well they really know each other, do you think the tremendous coincidences they experienced would make a significant difference in the success of their relationship over the long term?
The most recent home video release of Serendipity movie is April 9, 2002. Here are some details…
Blu-ray Notes: Serendipity
Release Date: 3 January 2012
Serendipity releases on blu-ray with the following bonus extras:
- Commentary with director Peter Chelsom
- Production diary
- Deleted scenes with Chelsom’s commentary
- Storyboard comparisons
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
DVD Notes: Serendipity
Release Date: 9 April 2002
- Theatrical trailers
- On The Set - Starz Encore
- Deleted scenes / Director’s commentary
- Director’s production diary
- Stills gallery