Guest Author - Mystic Ransdell
Directed By: Norman Jewison
Release Date: October 7, 1994
Run Time: 115 minutes
Faith was eleven years old when she got the name of her soul mate from a Ouija board she and her brother Larry were playing on.
A few days later, a psychic at the fair peered mysteriously into her crystal ball and told Faith and her best friend Kate the same name: Damon Bradley.
Fourteen years late, Faith (Marisa Tomei) is 25 and a teacher. She tells her students all about destiny and Plato's theory of soul mates and how all they have to do is follow their hearts to find their other half.
When Faith gets together with Kate (Bonnie Hunt) and their friend Leslie (Siobhan Fallon), she announces that her boyfriend, Dwayne, has proposed to her. She hasn't accepted yet, but says she plans to, and she shows them the ring. It is clear by her friends' reactions that although they are being supportive, they know that something is off.
At their engagement party, we see that the match between Faith and Dwayne is not great. He tries to control everything, even the way she wears her hair. And without consulting her at all, Faith finds out that Dwayne promised his mother that Faith will be happy to wear her old wedding dress. When Faith protests to him, he pushes her into it, saying how much it will mean to his mother.
Faith tries the dress on, attempting to play along. But the dress is simply horrible. When her friend Kate see it, she tells her, "If I had this dress, I'd give it to someone."
During a heart to heart conversation between Faith and Kate, during which Kate admits that she is not happy with her husband (Kate's brother Larry) and that she has lost her faith in romance, Faith tries to encourage Kate while dealing with her own doubts.
Then the phone rings. It's an old high school friend of Dwayne's. He's not going to be able to come to the wedding. She asks for his name. It's Damon Bradley.
He says he's at the airport, on his way to Venice. Faith doesn't even take the time to change her clothes. Still in the hideous dress, she grabs her coat, catches a cab, and heads to the airport to catch a glimpse of the man she believes is her destiny.
When she arrives too late, Faith decides to follow Damon Bradley to Venice. She calls Kate, and together, ten days before Faith's wedding, they set off for an adventure in search of this man she has dreamed of.
Damon Bradley proves more illusive than they expect. He leads them on a wild chase from Venice to Rome where they got lost in the countryside. Finally, they find the restaurant he is in and Faith goes to introduce herself, getting to his table just after he leaves! Chasing after him through the streets of Rome, she loses a shoe. It is rescued by the truly adorable Robert Downey Jr. who follows her, replaces it upon her foot, and reveals to she and Kate that he is Damon Bradley.
I have always loved this movie. Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei are two of my favorite actors and their chemistry together onscreen is lovely, playful, and sweet. Nothing in this romp is as it appears to be and just as you believe that you know what is going on - it switches again, keeping you on your toes.
The scenery is beautiful and the romance is high. Faith and Kate both make big realizations about expectations and the realities of love, romance, and magic. Tender, heart-warming, with some laugh out loud moments, this is one of those "feel-good" movies that I never get tired of, no matter how many times I see it.
Do you believe in destiny?
(I was not paid to endorse this movie in any way. I watched it from my own private video collection and my opinions and thoughts about it are my own.)
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