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Fri May 24, 2002
For "Happy Accidents," Time is just the beginning...
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
In "Happy Accidents," Ruby (Marisa Tomei) falls in love with Sam (Vincent D'Onofrio), an alleged visitor from the year 2470. Ruby, in deep analysis, says, "I am willing to find a balance between my own needs and my concern for others." She's a bit of a flake and he's just plain out there.
Sam has come back in time to save Ruby from a certain death. As a half-hour "Twilight Zone," "Happy Accidents" could have been a memorable romantic/science fiction teaser that left you wondering if Tomei ever could get D'Onofrio to the church on time. As it is, the time traveling motif takes itself too seriously with too many hysterical Tomei scenes and too few of D'Onofrio explaining the delicious differences between the 21st century and the 25th.
As a love story, however, this is a keeper. The two lovers are oddballs whose caring natures get them in and out of trouble with affection. When Tomei's mother confesses her sex life with her husband died when he went on the wagon, you get the idea this romance could also derail if the protagonist weren’t weird. So it's good he might be from another time and she is lovingly out of her own time.
If I judge correctly from "Next Stop Wonderland" as well as "Happy Accidents," Director Brad Anderson likes these romantic comedies where you wonder if the lovers will really make it. I do know this from those works: the best chance for successful love comes from the souls that are, not the lovers you wish to make them be. No accident, then, but happy ones for true lovers.
As Shakespeare said, "The end crowns all, and that old common arbitrator, Time, will one day end it." For "Happy Accidents," Time is just the beginning.
John DeSando co-hosts "It's Movie Time" and vice-chairs the board of the Film Council of Greater Columbus.