A film by Laurent Firode

There is an idea that life is made up of a serious of coincidences and that any small action can have a wide ranging effect and connection to the lives of various people in ways that we cannot even imagine. Little events can affect big events even though the two are not truly related, at least not in any way that we can directly see. It is like the butterfly in Egypt flapping its wings and causing a hurricane over the Pacific Ocean. This is the overriding idea of Happenstance .

The movie opens with Irene (Audrey Tautou) on the subway. A lady sitting across from her is reading Irene s horoscope and tells Irene that soon she will meet her soul mate. Irene gets off the train and the scene changes. From here we are brought into the lives of multiple people (men and women) living in Paris. We see their actions and how their actions affect each other. Even though Irene opens and closes this film, it is not truly about her and she is a more minor character than I had expected (or hoped).

It is interesting to see how all these lives intersect and affect each other, but even with the ending wrapping things up, Happenstance did not feel like it truly amounted to much, or did a good enough job making me care about any of the characters (except Irene, but that may be because of Tautou). It was difficult for me to engage with any of the characters, or find any of them memorable (though some of the intersecting events I can remember, but not the characters themselves).

The best I can say is that Happenstance was just okay. Despite Tautou being all over the cover/poster for this film, she is not the star, this is a true ensemble piece. The ensemble just didn t add up to a strong whole.