Feb 252019
 

Serendipity

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PLOTDuring the Christmas season in New York City, Jonathan Trager encounters Sara Thomas at Bloomingdale's while they attempt to buy the same pair of black cashmere gloves. While they are both in relationships, a mutual attraction leads to sharing dessert at Serendipity 3. Sara reveals her opinion that fate determines many of her decisions in life. They encounter each other again when they both have to return to the restaurant to retrieve things that they had left behind. Considering this to be fate, they spend more time together and just after they exchange phone numbers Sara's gets blown into the wind. She interprets this as a bad omen so instead suggests alternative ways to put their numbers out into the universe.

She suggests that one put their name and phone number on a $5 bill and the other on the front endpaper of a book that will be sold the next day. If each finds the other's item they are meant to be together, and can make contact. Several years later, Jonathan is in New York City getting engaged to Halley Buchanan. On the same day, Sara is in San Francisco and comes home to find her boyfriend Lars Hammond proposing to her. Cold feet ensues as their respective wedding dates approach; they start their attempt to reconnect.

Sara flies to New York City and her friend Eve persuades her to give up the chase—they go to Serendipity. The $5 bill given to Eve in change has Jonathan's contact information. Jonathan gets as a gift from Halley on the night of the wedding rehearsal the same book that has Sara's phone number. He and his friend Dean fly to San Francisco to find her. Jonathan sees a woman at Sara's house who he thinks is Sara but is Sara's sister, Caroline, fooling around with her boyfriend. Jonathan believes that his chasing ghosts means that he does not want to marry Halley. On board a plane to return to San Francisco, Sara is buying a head set and finds that she has Eve's wallet with the $5 bill of Jonathan. She disembarks and makes her way to his apartment. His neighbors tell her about his wedding at the Waldorf Astoria where she discovers that his wedding has been called off.

Jonathan wanders Central Park, and comes upon a bench at the ice rink that has a jacket Sara had left behind earlier. He uses the jacket for a pillow while lying in the middle of the rink. He has with him one black cashmere glove. He gazes up at the falling snow and a cashmere glove falls on his chest. He sees it is Sara; the glove is hers. They introduce themselves to each other formally for the first time. In the final scene, Sara and Jonathan are at Bloomingdale's, enjoying champagne on their anniversary at the same spot where they first met.
2001Combined Rating64.0

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May 072018
 

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl

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PLOT17 year old Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann) is a senior at Pittsburgh's Schenley High School who avoids close engagement with the various students. He learns that fellow student and former childhood friend of his, Rachel Kushner (Olivia Cooke), has been diagnosed with leukemia and is forced by his parents (Nick Offerman and Connie Britton) to befriend her in her time of need. Despite an awkward first encounter on Rachel's staircase, with neither of them truly wanting the other's company, Greg manages to strike up a conversation about her pillow collection. She comes to find his quirky personality and honesty endearing.

Greg introduces Rachel to his "coworker" Earl (RJ Cyler) (who tells Rachel that Greg avoids calling people his friend out of fear they won't reciprocate), with whom he makes short films parodying famous film titles. Despite Greg's reluctance, Earl shares their collection with her, which she finds entertaining. As Rachel begins chemotherapy, Greg begins spending less time on schoolwork and more time with and caring for her. Though Rachel suffers through her treatment and seems to get worse and worse, Greg, who often breaks the fourth wall, assures viewers that she does not die in the end.

Madison (Katherine C. Hughes), a pretty girl at school, convinces Greg and Earl to make a film dedicated to Rachel, and Rachel persuades Greg to apply to a local college. Greg continues to ignore schoolwork, and eventually school altogether, in order to finish the film. After realizing that her chemotherapy is doing more harm than good, Rachel opts to discontinue her treatment. Greg and Rachel have a heated argument over her choice where she points out his unwillingness to do anything selfless unless he's told to do so. He leaves, devastated that he can no longer help her.

In a rage, Greg confronts Earl, blaming him for the events leading to the end of his friendship with Rachel. Earl in turn admonishes Greg's inability to care and sympathize for anyone but himself despite the genuine affection she gave him, and ultimately punches Greg after the latter dares him to. Later, Earl gives Greg a heartfelt testimonial for Rachel before letting him know that he's finished with their friendship. Greg also gets an email telling him that due to his failing grades, his admission to the college he planned to attend has been revoked.

Later in the year, Greg's mom lets him know that Rachel is back in the hospital, which Greg originally believes to be for more treatment, before learning that she's there to die. Madison invites him to the prom, but at the last moment, he decides to go to the hospital. During the journey there, Greg is asked by the limo driver if he loves the girl he's going to see, a question he finds himself unable to answer. He brings his iPhone and a portable projector and places a corsage around Rachel's wrist before running the film he made for her on the front wall of her room, lying beside her as they did when they watched his other films. Rachel is moved to tears by the movie. However, shortly after viewing the film, she falls into a coma, dying a few hours later. Greg admits to the viewer that he lied earlier about Rachel making it in the end.

At her shiva, Greg is comforted by Rachel's mom as they grieve together for their loss. Earl and Greg reconcile. During the funeral, Greg sneaks up into Rachel's room. He finds a card from her explaining that she wrote a letter to the college Greg applied to in order to let them know that he missed school for her sake. Rachel states her wish for Greg to take any of her possessions that he pleases. As he reads the college letter, he sees that Rachel called him the kindest and most caring person she had ever met. Greg also finds several intricate carvings within her books depicting scenes of her with Greg and Earl, proving that she still cared for him, and reminding him of what his mentor teacher said when Rachel got sick, that you can still learn new things about someone after they die. Greg leaves with one of the books containing a personal carving and his favorite of Rachel's pillows.

Some time later, Greg writes his story of his time with Rachel and mails it to the college along with the film he made for her with a warning that "the last person who saw this immediately went into a coma and DIED."
2015Personal Rating100Rotten Critics81Rotten Audience86IMDb Rating77Combined Rating86.0

Movies IMDb Olivia Cooke