This post marks my entry into blogdom (uh, that doesn't sound nearly as cool as stardom) with two films that have a pleasant mix of weirdness and cuteness.
“Happy Accidents” (2000) stars Vincent D'Onofrio and Marisa Tomei. The premise is simple, stupid even, yet effective. Tomei (as Ruby) is used to failed relationships. Her bad choices have brought her loser after loser -- so many that her friends keep mug shots of the losers in a box of “exes.” Her experience gives her little faith in something better. Then comes along Sam (D'Onofrio), who befriends her in the park. One awkward conversation leads to another, and the couple end up enjoying each others' company. That is, when Sam isn't saying odd things and showing an irrationally extreme fear of small dogs.
Tomei's vulnerability and D'Onofrio's inscrutability combine for interesting tension, though I could never really believe Sam's actions. (But what do I know about men from the future?)
In contrast, the second film, South Korea-made “Castaway on the Moon” (2009), has a slightly less unbelievable premise yet far more believable character traits. Kim Seung Keun (Jung Jae Young) throws himself off a Seoul bridge in a debt- and heartbreak-inspired show of suicidal despair. As unbelievable as it is (considering the plot relies on his not being able to swim) he survives, waking up on an island in the middle of the river, and living out almost the entirety of the rest of the movie there. Slowly, he sheds his corporate worker identity and ekes out a living on this forgotten land, hunting, growing food, and talking to himself.
Then comes quirky, unexpected romance. Kim Jung Rye (Jung Rye Won) still lives with her parents and never leaves her room, debilitated by a facial scar that is never explained. Her only relation to the outside world is a telescope, through which she manages to spy the island recluse. Fascinated by his existence, she starts delivering bottled messages to him, to which he responds with messages in the sand.
Of course, there is no need to ruin the ending of either film, but let's just say there are lessons here to learn: True love – even if from the future – can change everything, future and past included; we should let go of the past in order to allow for new futures; and, in a world of strange people and even stranger situations, we should never give up hope for finding someone who thinks we make their life worthwhile.
-- Antonio Roman-Alcalá