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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Happy Accidents (review)

You can always spot time travelers — they’re the ones who dress a little weird and can’t make change. Or are those folks just oddballs from the here and now? This is the dilemma facing New Yorker Ruby Weaver (Marisa Tomei: Someone Like You). Her new boyfriend, Sam Deed (Vincent D’Onofrio: The Cell) is a dream come true: sweet, attentive, spontaneous, quirkily romantic… but he also insists he’s from the year 2470. Ruby’s therapist (Holland Taylor: Legally Blonde) insists that Sam is just the latest in a long line of “project” beaus, men who need fixing, for the serially co-dependent Ruby, but Ruby’s not so sure. Or is Sam just safely, artistically crazy? Written and directed by Brad Anderson, this off-kilter romantic comedy half works: Sam’s obsessively detailed tale of chrono-displacement plays nicely as a metaphor for the game-playing of romantic relationships, or, conversely, as an exploration of the fine line between sanity and insanity — assuming that Sam’s story is true, could any sane person accept it? But the story lags and gets repetitive — too many scenes, maybe, of Ruby’s pals assuring her that if the sex is great, nothing else matters — and Anderson wraps it all up too tidily. An ambiguous ending would have left lots of room for passionate interpretation. Instead, we get just a warmed-over episode of The Twilight Zone.

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MPAA: rated R for language

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
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