I recently watched a movie called Serendipity. It is a typical romantic movie. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale meet by chance and spend the most amazing few hours together. Rather than exchange details, Kate comes up with the ingenious idea to leave it up to fate. If they are meant to be, they will somehow end up together. John writes his name and number on a five dollar note. Kate writes hers in an old copy of Love in The Time of Cholera, which she then sells to a used bookstore. They spend the next few years looking for each other, he enters every bookstore and opens every copy of the book hoping to find her number.
They both get engaged to other people around the same time. Neither of them can get married without closing the chapter on the wonderful stranger soulmate person. So instead of focusing on their wedding preparations, they intensify their search for each other, enlisting the help of their friends
and just being stupid really.
They keep almost meeting, missing each other, finding clues, calling off their weddings. Long story short, they finally end up. They kiss and live happily ever after.
It was a nice enough film, but that is not what I am getting at.
One recurring scene in romantic films is the one where the bride (or groom) realises het best friend/gardener/ex/dog walker/pet gerbil is really her soulmate and so leaves her betrothed at the altar. (Sometimes the dumpee is not left at the altar, but is still dumped in an insensitive manner.) Everyone cheers and the movie ends. The funny part is how all the guest ignore the one left at the altar and start cheering on the new couple. Maid of honour, Sweet Home Alabama, Love and Basketball, The Accidental Husband (awful movie by the way), the list of such movies is endless.
While the viewers celebrate that true love has prevailed, all I think about is the poor fella (lady) that has just been dumped, and on her (his) wedding day no less. The film Serendipity is more ridiculous than the others because the supposed soulmates only spent a few hours together. The characters were willing to throw their existing lives away because of a stranger who could very well have turned out to be a serial killer.
I wish romantic movies would change the script. Please stop abandoning people at the altar as if it is no big deal. Let the characters make the realisation that they are in love before the wedding day. Let The Notebook be your guide.
The only time in which this was acceptable was in A Different World when Dwayne Wayne poured his heart out Baby Please!
As moving and romantic as the scene was, I still felt sorry for Byron. Look at him slinking out sadly while the congregation erupted in happiness. He had been nothing but charming to Whitley and he definitely did not deserve to be embarrassed like that. At least Dwayne had the decency to apologise to him I’m sorry Byron I love her!
When the credits roll, I try to imagine what the lives of the characters would be like after the happily ever after. I want the characters regret abandoning their true love at the altar. If I was tasked with making Serendipity 2, I would make John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale realise that having a magical moment with a stranger is not a good enough reason to call off one’s wedding.
I understand this is all make believe and is not to be taken seriously.
STOP LEAVING PEOPLE AT THE ALTAR! Thank you. That’s all.