Serendipity – New Year Pick for Heath & Happiness Magazine

Serendipity. Feel-better Film reviews by Chartreuse at Heypressto at Health & Happiness Magazine.

Even though much of this film is set at Christmas, January is an ideal time to start attracting the right signs and settings to fulfill your wishes for the coming year.

Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack), an Englishwoman and an American man, are brought together by a pair of black gloves. Out shopping they each zone in on the last one in the famous New York department store, Bloomingdales. There is mutual attraction but black gloves were Sara’s chosen present for her boyfriend and Jonathan’s for his girlfriend.

Sara explains her belief in serendipity, the name of the shop in which they have coffee. Serendipity, ‘a fortunate accident’, is a favourite word of Sara’s. She says that if they are meant to be together then circumstances will unite them.

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More film reviews at Health & Happiness by Chartreuse:

 

Frozen

Frozen film poster.

You don’t have to be or have a child to appreciate and enjoy Frozen, especially, as it deals with two important adult issues. It is a re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, a cold and isolated magical being. She holds a child captive until his sister rescues him through the power of her love.

In a kingdom far to the north, two young princesses grow up happily with their parents in the palace of Arandelle. Elsa, the elder of the two, delights her sister Anna by using her magical gift of creating snow. Late one night there is an accident when Anna is hit by an icy blast that leaves her unconscious. Her anxious parents race with her to the troll-king. He heals Anna by removing all memory of Elsa’s magic. He tells Elsa that as her power grows her greatest enemy will be fear.

However, fear is already at work. The king closes the palace and Elsa shuts herself away in her room, seeing only her parents who train her to suppress her gift as much as possible.

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Midnight in Paris

midnight_in_paris_small

The mystical time of Halloween deserves a magical tale of time-travel.

Gil is a successful Hollywood screenwriter but his heart is in Paris where he longs to live, connect with his author heroes of the 1920’s and write his autobiographical novel. Gil sees Paris through a golden filter, turning the cobbles and buildings to a mellow cream and investing even the rain with warmth.

Gil is in Paris for a pre-wedding trip and the old feelings are stirring. However fiancée Inez and his ultraconservative future in-laws see him as a movie script money-machine.
Inez is busy shopping and seeing her friends, pretentious but ignorant, schoolgirl crush Paul, and his non-descript wife. Inez chooses dancing with the couple over a romantic walk with Gil through the Parisian streets at night.

Lost in the cobbled alleys at the stroke of midnight, a 1920’s Peugeot rolls up and the passengers in matching period costume call to Gil to join them.

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Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers film poster.

Owen Wilson recently went up against Usain Bolt in a spoof bid for the title of fastest man in the world. In Wedding crashers his character dashes from one woman to the next but along with Vince Vaughn’s runs into trouble when one marriage bash too many leads to unexpected love out their league.

John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vincent Vaughn) are divorce lawyers. Understandably cynical about the institution their negotiation technique also recognises the positive feelings the couple had for one at another at the onset.

It is the onset that focuses their social attention. Using false names, nature of employment, relationships to bride or groom, and a stock of tried and tested devices they crash weddings to meet attractive, ready, willing and able single women.

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Man Up

Man Up film poster.

Simon Pegg, who recently reprised his role of Scotty in Star Trek Beyond, hit the news when he took a stand against xenophobia in politics along with other members of the cast. Only last year he played a character who puts himself on the line for what he believes in, in Man Up.

Nancy (Lake Bell, In a World…) is a single journalist whose way with words deserts her in social settings. She wishes for a satisfying relationship like the ones enjoyed by her happily married sister, Elaine, and by their parents (Harriet Walter, Ken Stott). However, Nancy’s confidence is in such short supply that at an engagement party, where she is scheduled to meet a possible suitor, she closets herself in her hotel room until ordered forth into battle by Elaine. The results are disastrous.

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Enchanted April

Enchanted April film poster.

Alfred Molina is tipped to become Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2016. Over twenty years ago he appeared in a supporting role in an obscure gem of a food-for-the-soul film: Enchanted April.

It is raining on a day in 1920’s London and Lottie’s (Josie Lawrence) life feels bleak. Lottie tries to be thankful for her blessings but her overbearing, penny-pinching, socially aspiring husband (Alfred Molina) and the monotony of life oppress her. On a bus ride home, an advertisement for a magical Mediterranean castle presents itself to Lottie on a newspaper being read by a lady, Rose (Miranda Richardson) who looks equally downhearted. In that moment a plan of escape is conceived and Lottie finds hidden reserves of courage to bring it to fruition.

This magical film may help you if you feel trapped, in a rut, and long for a life filled with love, warmth and beauty.

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Chocolat

Chocolat film poster.

Juliette Binoche was honoured at the Hungarian Miskolc International Film Festival in September 2016 and the previous year set up a new film company, We Do It Together, focussing on the empowerment of women. The feel-better film that made her famous was Chocolat.

Vianne’s (Juliette Binoche) constant relocation takes its toll on little daughter Anouk and her imaginary kangaroo Pantouffle. In each place they establish a business and a home, and make friends before the North Wind blows them out and onward. They repeat the process until they come to a sleepy French town with an autocratic count (Alfred Molina), a grandmother (Judy Dench) and grandson who need uniting, an elderly dog owner who admires his lady from afar, a burgeoning artistic talent, a down-trodden wife, a couple who have lost touch with passion, assorted townsfolk and pirates who need Vianne’s special brand of kindness, strength, sweetness and a hint of chilli.

This award winning film may help you if you have relocated or feel you will never belong.

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The Park Bench

The Park Bench film poster.

A touching, comical story of a tutor and student who find unexpected friendship and romance through their sessions on a park bench. Over a college year Emily helps undergraduate Mateo with his studies and learns some lessons about herself. Emily’s perfectly planned future begins to blur as she discovers what it is like to really connect with another person through stories a dance and a wedding day. A lovingly made, budget movie that won an award the Toronto Film Festival and was recently released on DVD.
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New Year Feel-better film choice: Peter’s Friends

Peter's Friends film poster. Stephen Fry throws a New Year’s Eve party at his newly inherited stately home to share some news with loving lovies reunited for the first time in 10 years since their last student song-and-dance performance. Maggie (Emma Thompson) is on a quest for love, couple Mary and Roger (Imela Staunton and Hugh Laurie) find relief and resolution, US resident Andrew (Kenneth Brannagh) and wife (Rita Rudner) fly in for some moments of truth and Sarah (Alphonsia Emmanuel) discovers her relationship to a hamster in a leather skirt on a weekend with fish out of water (Tony Slattery). Delightful, humorous and transformational.
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Winter comedy pick: Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm film poster. Youthful Kate Beckinsale in a hilarious 1920’s comedy. Orphaned Londoner, Flora, opts to move in with country relatives, the Starkadders, to ‘tidy up’ and collect ‘life’ to put in her great novel. There she meets talkies fan and sultry cousin Seth (Rufus Sewell), doom-laden aunt Judith (Eileen Atkins), ardent preacher to the Quivering Brethren uncle Amos (Ian McKellan), dashing neighbour Dick Hawk-Monitor (Rupert Penry-Jones) and a mud-drenched dilapidated farm. Fortunately Flora has moral support in the form of Mary Smiling (Joanna Lumley). Engaging spoof of the rural novel.
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Halloween favourite supernatural comedy: Practical Magic

Practical Magic film poster.Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star as sisters Sally and Gillian, descendants of a family of witches. Together with eccentric aunts, Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest, they take on a curse and an embarrassing problem under the rose bush. Wild child Gillian’s flirtation with danger and Sally’s rescue mission end in a risky spell with awkward consequences. Sally’s wish-list hero (Aiden Quinn) comes to investigate and casts an enchantment of his own as he seeks to unearth the truth. Magical, whimsical entertainment.
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Selection from Spiritual Cinema Circle: Orbit Ever After

Orbit Ever After film poster.A science-fiction romance starring Thomas Sangster (Love Actually). Space recyling, love, aspiration and a shooting star.
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About the Author Chartreuse

Chartreuse is a freelance writer, editor, photographer and promotional videographer. She has written a feel-better film review column for Heath & Happiness Magazine, and is the owner of Heypressto. Chartreuse’ greatest inspiration is Abraham-Hicks. Her favourite quote is ‘You can be, do or have anything you want’.

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