Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Audrey Tautou, Faudel, Eric Savin, Nathalie Besançon, Lysiane Meis
Director: Laurent Firode
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Audrey Tautou (star of Amélie) shimmers like a born movie star in Happenstance. A woman on the morning train tells Tautou that the full moon will lead her to her soulmate; from there, Happenstance follows a marvelous inter... more »
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Marianna S. (Angeloudi) from HOLIDAY, FL
Reviewed on 9/8/2012...
As an Audrey Tautou fan, I am always screening her films in the hopes that they might be suitable to show in my high school French classes. This one, due to one unfortunate scene, is not suitable for high school. There is one scene right at the beginning of the film, of a man having a post-coital cigarette with full frontal male nudity, which goes on for quite a while. The scene is completely gratuitous, unneeded, and pointless. There is nothing objectionable in the rest of the film, which would have been fun to watch with my students otherwise. Of course, my current students are not quite old enough to remember "The Butterfly Effect" (similar theme/story) or "Just My Luck" with Lindsay Lohan (somewhat similar theme). Happenstance reminded me of both those films. I liked the varied ages and circumstances of the many characters, as well as their various beliefs in "luck," "chance" "fate," etc. An enjoyable, frothy movie.
The Beating of a Butterfly's WIng
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 12/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In France, Laurent Firode's "Happenstance" was released as "Le Battement d'Aile du Papillon" or "The Beating of a Butterfly's Wing." The saying goes: if a butterfly flutters his wings over the Atlantic Ocean it could eventually cause a hurricane in the Pacific. With this in mind, Firode set upon making a film in which the seemingly smallest "happenstance" can cause untold reprecussions; not only in lives per se but also in circumstances and situations.
The French have a unique perspective on life and love. Think "Venus Beauty Institute," "Amelie," "Get out your handkerchiefs," anything by Eric Rohmer or Francois Truffaut....and now "Happenstance," a romantic comedy with a number of chracters who pretty much, all in one way or another, come in contact with the other. It's like a smart, wryly humorous "Magnolia."
Audrey Tautou (Irene), so endearing in "Amelie," is part of a thoroughly diverse ensemble of actors and it is her first scene in the film that sets it in motion: she is approached on the Metro by a woman conducting a survey on shampoos(!) but who states her real forte is telling horoscopes. She asks Irene her birthdate which happens to be 3/11/77. The woman points out that as a full moon is imminent, Irene will find her true love that very day. After Irene de-metros slightly dazed and frankly skeptical, a young man, Younes (Faudel) tells the woman that 3/11/77 is also his birthdate. You don't have to be a genius or a Robert Altman fan to know that these two will meet again...some way, some how...before night falls.
A number of characters are introduced, all with love problems and relationship issues that somehow, and this is the magic of Firode's direction, resolve themselves logically or not by the film's end; nevermind that a "Destiny Man" is introduced (Gilbert Robin) to comment as well as help the proceedings along.
"Happenstance" ( a terrible title, by the way) is about Fate and Chance and Luck; and how we, as poor vulnerable, feeling human beings avail ourselves of these things to nab...whatever bit of Love and Happiness, the real things of Value, that we can."
A Small but Charming Film
Charles | Antioch, CA United States | 01/31/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like many who've been caught under the immaculate spell of the charming and talented French actress, Ms. Audrey Tautou of Amelie, I too have begun my own personal obsession of searching and exploring her other works.Happenstance is my second film after Amelie, and judging from other reviews, I was to expect a much smaller film in scope. And that basically what Happenstance is. It may not be as elaborate or artistic as Amelie, but it's a wonderfully fun film nontheless. It involves a number of varying characters and the actions they take throughout the movie have adverse effects on each other, which make for a cleverly fabricated plot that jumps you from character to character. The story itself, is not heavy or thick by any means mind you, but rather it allows the audience to follow these characters from different points of views and how the role of chance plays between these characters. And it's one of those movies where you can go back through it again and again and pick up important plot subtelties that you may have missed the first time through.Audrey Tautou may not have too much of a presense in the movie as some may have hoped for (that would include myself), but she does do a terrific job playing her part nontheless. With so many characters to take in, there was only so much time given to Audrey (and any character for that matter). Also, for people expecting to see the same starry eyed and cheerfully adorable Audrey from Amelie, will find Happenstance a joyous treat. She smiles a lot less in this movie than in Amelie but her charm is still as evident as ever. Again, it's a small film, and may appear very simple on the surface, but some who are willing to take a deeper look, will probably find its brilliantly crafted intricacies underneath. It might have been unfair to compare Happenstance with Amelie, but since the cover of the DVD shouts out loud "the star of Amelie," it was inevitable to measure the two. It may also be helpful to note that I did hold a much greater appreciation for the movie on my second time through, partly due because I had to watch the crummy VHS version, but mainly because I picked up more things that I hadn't before. Anyone that likes a good romantic comedy should definitely check this movie out if your interested at all, and if you're an Audrey fan, there's no reason why you shouldn't be watching this now. It's a fun and entertaining movie at heart that I definitely recommend."
Deeds & Consequences
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 11/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Irène (Audrey Tautou) sits on the subway on her way to work when a woman reads her horoscope and tells her that she will find her love today if she is patient. Meanwhile, there are numerous actions taken by many characters like a pick pocket thief, a roommate, an ex-boyfriend, a cheating husband, a nervous wife, a drunk biker, a senile grandmother, an illegal alien, a bar tender, a pigeon, and many others. These actions effect other events taking place in the city of Paris where Irène lives and they will lead Irène to her love. Happenstance is an appealing film about the random deeds that humans choose to do everyday and how these acts ripple through society influencing the individuals living in it."