Contrived: Romantic Movie Plot Twists


Serendipity (2001)

We watched this Rom-Com movie the other night. In it, Sara sets a series of challenges for the Universe to prove that she and Jonathan should be together. This ‘proof’ is constantly challenged by missteps, accidents, and chance encounters. In other words, the time needs to be right before they are reunited. A constant refrain in the movie is “It’s just an accident, Sara: don’t read anything into it.” But that’s exactly what Sara does.

I’m all for plot twists: after all, the usual script path for most romantic films is quite straight-forward. In fact, if they are Hallmark movies, you can see each complication hit its mark at every quarter hour of the two hour TV program. Boring.

But the idea that all complications can be overcome by the end of the show is a bit much.

Other movies have done a better job, without seeming contrived.

Sleepless in Seattle

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan together have had a couple or three Rom-Coms over the years. Sleepless in Seattle is the best of the bunch. What I appreciated about its portrayal of a couple destined to meet was the fact that they’d seen each other before the meeting and liked how each other looked. That happens in real life, at least in my experience.

The setup of meeting on the observation deck of the Empire State Building was an echo of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember. Jonah as the young son, along for the ride, probably made the situation more palatable for modern audiences.

This is the right kind of ‘three boxes of tissues’ movie. Women, especially love it.

Sliding Doors

This movie, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, was a horse of a different colour. The concept was of what would happen if something prevented two people from meeting, while watching the opposite situation of their meeting at the same time, with alternating sequences.

What made this one effective, at least for me, is that something that is intended to happen, will happen sometime, even if it seems to be thwarted during much of the story.

I enjoyed this one, immensely. The switching of hairstyles helped me keep track.


Romantic movies are definitely here to stay, but they are not to everyone’s taste.

But as the last movie says, “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition…”

About cdsmiller17

I am an Astrologer who also writes about world events. My first eBook "At This Point in Time" is available through most on-line book stores. I have now serialized my second book "The Star of Bethlehem" here. And I am experimenting with birth and death charts. If you wish to contact me, or request a birth chart, send an email to
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1 Response to Contrived: Romantic Movie Plot Twists

  1. cdsmiller17 says:

    I was going to include The Notebook in this post, but then thought better of it.


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