Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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Happy Accidents (2001)

I hope my spouse is from the future. Everything will be great.

Ruby Weaver (Marisa Tomei) is tired of being the “enabler” in relationships and has decided to give up the role of doormat. She’s also on the verge of giving up on love when she meets a sweet, small-town guy, Sam Deed (Vincent D’Onofrio), who changes her mind. It seems Ruby’s finally found a sane boyfriend — until Sam divulges that he’s a time traveler from the year 2470. Now it’s up to Ruby to decide whether love can conquer all.

I first saw the trailer for this film awhile back last year, and I thought to myself “what a bunch of stupid junk”, and didn’t look back on it since. Now, I regret that situation more than ever.

This film is more of a sci-fi thriller, than it actually is a romantic comedy. The story is so rich and original, mostly because it keeps you guessing. Like 12 Monkeys, the narrator is unreliable, and we sometimes put our own conclusions together with the story. But the film isn’t just all about tricking you, and keeping you on the edge of your seat, it’s also about the love, and finding someone despite their problems. When Sam tells Ruby he’s from the future, she is taken back, but at the same time, she kind of puts that to the side, and accepts him as a person, instead of this nut, that if you heard right away was saying this goofy crap, you would run for the hills and never look back. Yeah, later on, she gets creeped out more, but she still stays with him, and even though there is that 1% chance he may be telling the truth, she still sticks with him, only to get more answers.

There is also plenty of comedy to go along with this film. The things Sam says are funny, but also the situations they are put in, and how Sam basically has a reason for everything that happens in the future, is actually pretty funny, although it may have a bit of dumbness to it.

I had a problem with the film that kind of ruined it for me by the last act. The score is just soooo freakin’ annoying. Its got like this weird old kind of score music you would hear from an old episode from the Three Stooges. I think the film could have really benefited from something a lot better, then just an odd type of score, especially for the last act, when it was at its most emotional.

The best thing about this film is its two great cute characters. Marisa Tomei as Ruby, is at her all-time high with this performance, showing a lot of compassion, and overall believability. She has a lot of great moments where she’s just freaking out, and she has that great romantic comedy timing, that really benefits here in any move. Vincent D’Onofrio may not be the greatest looking dude out there, but he’s still a great character mostly cause he is very cooky, but likable. And just because of this likability, you have the slight belief that maybe this guy is telling the truth. The two build a great chemistry, that although starts out really funny, gets more and more emotional, and it all feels real. Also, be ready for a very funny Anthony Michael Hall cameo, that guy really is the freakin’ man.

Consensus: Happy Accidents could have been more emotionally powerful, but takes you by surprise, as it is hilarious, original, and likable performances from the quirky cast.



6 responses to “Happy Accidents (2001)

  1. David H. Schleicher July 20, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Brad Anderson is such an overlooked director. This was pretty good…but have you seen Session 9 and/or The Machinist? Much darker…

    Oh, and then there’s Transsiberian, too. Great little train thriller.

    Brad Anderson is the “poor man’s” Christopher Nolan in many ways.

  2. MichaelAndTerrance July 22, 2010 at 3:52 am

    One of my favorites. I recommend it to people all the time. They always thank me.

  3. Heather July 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm


    I saw it on the basis of Marisa Tomei being in it and was pleasantly surprised to have my own happy accident. It’s so sweet, funny, well written, acted, and original. It’s the romantic dark comedy of the decade save Eternal Sunshine.

    Utterly brilliant.

    • CMrok93 July 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Yea I think this is a poor man’s Eternal Sunshine, but still it’s great and had me totally surprised by how much I actually did like it.

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