It's oft repeated that the enduring legacy of the self-help movement will be a teeming multitude of neurotics who are no more healthy than before, but only more painfully aware of their dysfunction. While it may not be a new sentiment, it's never been more skillfully internalized by a romantic comedy than in director Brad Anderson's Happy Accidents. Marisa Tomei plays one of an embittered, cynical circle of New York women wrenchingly familiar with extensive counseling and its accompanying jargon, a socially maladjusted group that more eagerly awaits adding another mug shot to the "Ex-files" box than falling in guileless love. She meets her predictably quirky match in Vincent D'Onofrio, a free-spirited hospice worker who claims to be a time traveler from the year 2470, having found Tomei's photo and decided to seek her out. Though she feels herself falling for him, Tomei is unable to decide whether his loony story is genuine, or just a coy plot by a diabolical seducer. Despite uneven pacing and an occasionally incoherent script, there's enough sweetness and humor to keep things moving until that rarest of things, a satisfying happy ending. Go see Happy Accidents, but don't bring Isaac Asimov--he'd be way pissed by the convoluted explanations of the metaphysics of time travel.
Director: Brad Anderson
Cast: Marisa Tomei, Vincent D'Onofrio and Nadia Dajani