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Happenstance

R Released Nov 2, 2001 1h 30m Comedy Drama List
64% Tomatometer 36 Reviews 74% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
A cleverly constructed and intricate comedy about how a subtle twist of fate can affect the lives of total strangers, "Happenstance" ingeniously tracks a group of seemingly unconnected individuals during the course of one long day. As these characters interact with one another randomly, every chance encounter bears a consequence that will later become significant, ultimately culminating in a complex pattern of narrowly averted mishaps and barely grasped opportunities. Read More Read Less
Happenstance

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Though the plot of Happenstance is basically a gimmick, the film is a fun, light-hearted trifle.

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Critics Reviews

View All (36) Critics Reviews
Kimberley Jones Austin Chronicle Rated: 2/5 Mar 10, 2003 Full Review Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune Discreet, delicate and humane: a sweet butterfly of a movie that beats up a cinematic windstorm of life. Rated: 3/4 May 9, 2002 Full Review Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer A mild but engaging romance, the charms of which come at you sideways. Rated: 3/4 Mar 28, 2002 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 3.5/5 Dec 6, 2005 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Aug 10, 2005 Full Review Rachel Sanders Apollo Guide Rated: 76/100 Dec 16, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (263) audience reviews
Audience Member It's Audrey Tautou before AMELIE (2001, 9/10), from writer/director Laurent Firode, HAPPENSTANCE is adept in contriving a string of butterfly effects engendered among two dozens of people in one day until at the very end concludes with a boy-meet-girl scenario, they share the same birthday and meet earlier in the morning, then fate brings them together in its unique design, with a bruised nose. The brisk premise of a horoscopic premonition is intriguing, the pace is upbeat and the camera is restless in introducing a kaleidoscope of quirky dramatis personae into the stage one after another, bewildering sometimes, then once we get a hold of that it is an assemble piece whose mainstay is hanging on a thin theory of unwitting behavior's chain-reaction, its allure begins to dwindle, the desultory contrivance oversteps the original intention of "an accidental slice-of-life", the story is totally at the disposal of writer's wild and arbitrary imagination as long as the circle meets its end in the coda (not such a demanding request for one who is capable of imagining), which could be assessed as an artistic shortchange fails to meet the face value of a feature film, a concise short form is enough to spread this one-track mind precept. There are no clear leads inasmuch as the bulky cast, so besides Tautou and Faudel's belated encounter, other threads never have their own closures, e.g. Eric Feldman's mendacious museum guard and Eric Savin's wavering husband, neither find their answers in their respective stores. Maybe it is what happens in real life, but as an entity, the loose-ends are despondent and incompetent. Luckily, the film should be merited for its variegated caricature of human behaviors, mostly are transient due to the repetitive structure, nevertheless the film entertains audiences in its down-to-earth earnestness and leaves us a wistful sigh only if fatalism could dominate the world, life would be much easier and simpler! Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member very random but reminds me of a novel that states that all people who meet are already in predetermined groups. It was pretty cute in the long run... Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member So damn cute. Nothing is random in life and every action affects everything. Love it. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Interesting, but not as good as i had hoped it would be. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Interesting when it comes together, but it doesn't end in the flourish one could have hoped for. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Great photography and a fun premise -- what effects a small event can result in. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Happenstance

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A cleverly constructed and intricate comedy about how a subtle twist of fate can affect the lives of total strangers, "Happenstance" ingeniously tracks a group of seemingly unconnected individuals during the course of one long day. As these characters interact with one another randomly, every chance encounter bears a consequence that will later become significant, ultimately culminating in a complex pattern of narrowly averted mishaps and barely grasped opportunities.
Director
Laurent Firode
Producer
Pascal Judelewicz, Dominique Toussaint
Screenwriter
Laurent Firode
Distributor
Lot 47 Films
Production Co
20th Century Fox
Rating
R
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
Canadian French
Release Date (Theaters)
Nov 2, 2001, Wide
Release Date (DVD)
Jan 17, 2012
Box Office (Gross USA)
$251.4K
Runtime
1h 30m
Sound Mix
Surround, Dolby Stereo
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)