' ' Cinema Romantico: Pitching Serendipity 2

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pitching Serendipity 2

Julian, son of Jonathan and Sara Traeger, goes on an eighth grade band trip to upstate New York where he Meets Cute with fellow eighth-grader Haley in the midst of recording a group parody video of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Haley lip syncs “I just met you / and this is crazy / but here’s my number / so call me maybe” to Julian who immediately takes this as a sign that Haley should actually give him her phone number so he can call her (maybe, but probably).

Alas, Haley has a boyfriend and Julian admits he has a girlfriend. Thus, Haley gives him the traditional kiss on the cheek, they gather up their instruments (she to the string section, he to the brass) and go on their merry way. Double alas, Haley and Julian return to the bus minutes later at the SAME TIME. She has forgotten her lucky scarf. He has forgotten his lucky Eli Manning jersey (which he wears underneath the band outfit). They pause. They decide to blow off the concert and go skating and get a milkshake instead.

They reunite with their band mates afterwards outside the local mall where they were playing and he finally convinces her to give him her phone number so he can call her (maybe, but probably). Triple alas, Julian’s iPhone battery dies at the EXACT instant he is about to type in her number. Haley reads this as a sign. “It’s the universe telling us to back off,” she says. Julian tries to talk her out of it. She grabs his hand and drags him into the mall. She decides that if they choose the same restaurant in the food court they are meant to be together now. They do not choose the same restaurant. They lose sight of each other. They re-board different buses. She is dropped off at her school and he is dropped off at his. So it goes.

Flash ahead to Julian’s Winter Formal. He has broken up with his girlfriend seeing as how he cannot get Haley off his mind. He tells his parents about Haley. He explains he wants to take HER to the Winter Formal. Jonathan and Sara, we learn, have lost a great deal of that mystic romanticism from the previous film. They are older, worn down, resigned to reality and commonsense. But when their son proposes to traipse all over NYC in an effort to find Haley, his parents see it as………a sign. They decide to aid his effort and take turns as his sidekick in a desperate 48 hour quest to find the love of their son’s eighth grade life before the Big Dance.

Late in the third act BOTH Jonathan and Sara wind up side-by-side with their son and, improbably, fantastically, against every conceivable odd, Julian finds Haley and she agrees to go with him to the Winter Formal while his parents rekindle their romance and sense of destiny.

The film ends with Julian & Haley AND Jonathan & Sara cutting a rug to “Call Me Maybe.” (And Eugene Levy returns in his original role for a cameo as an eternally-chagrined parent dance chaperone.)

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