6.9/10
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38 user 27 critic

Happenstance (2000)

Le battement d'ailes du papillon (original title)
How, thanks to what's known as the "Butterfly theory" (a random series of unlinked events), can a young woman and a young man meet ?

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Irène
Faudel ...
Younès
...
Richard
Nathalie Besançon ...
Marie
Lysiane Meis ...
Elsa
Irène Ismaïloff ...
Stéphanie
Eric Feldman ...
Luc
Frédéric Bouraly ...
Bobby
Franck Bussi ...
The Waiter from the Philosophic Cafe
Marina Tomé ...
Julie
Félicité Wouassi ...
The Vigilant
Antoine Coesens ...
The Clochard
Saïd Serrari ...
The Pickpocket
Lily Boulogne ...
Luc's Mother (as Lili Boulogne)
Gilbert Robin ...
The Destiny Man
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Storyline

Chance, volition, and the large effects of tiny causes swirl through Paris on a single day. A clerk born 11 March 1977 hears her horoscope on the way to work: today she'll meet her true love, but she must be patient. Before the day ends under a full moon, twenty lives intersect time and again in unpredictable, connected ways: a jilted lover holds a souvenir pebble, a stolen coffee maker looks suspicious at a Metro stop, a yellow rain slicker is passed on as a gift, lettuce causes a bicycle accident, a leaf betrays an habitual liar who's just told the truth, and an Algerian waiter, also born 11 March 1977, sees a bug cross a tablecloth. Magical sand from the Sahara is in the air. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sand | moon | waiter | rain | liar | See All (137) »

Taglines:

Chance. Chaos. Destiny. Liaisons. (Australia DVD) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

21 June 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Happenstance  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original French title translates as "the flapping of a butterfly's wings". In Hong Kong it was titled Amelie 2, to capitalise on the success of Audrey Tautou's breakout movie Amélie (2001). Although Happenstance (2000) predates Amelie by a year, the two were released in reverse order in most non-French markets. See more »

Goofs

When the old lady takes the faulty coffee machine back to the store it is seen in a Phillips box, when she arrives back home with the same faulty machine it is in a Moulinex box. See more »

Quotes

Irène: Excuse me...
Waiter: Sorry, I didn't see you.
Irène: I'm the one who's sorry. I'm transparent.
Waiter: What'll it be?
Irène: Coffee.
See more »

Connections

References Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
loved it
26 April 2004 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Most people who chase after movies featuring Audrey Tautou seem to not understand that Amelie was a character - it is not really Audrey Tautou's real life personality, hence, every movie she partakes in is not going to be Amelie part 2, part 3, etc.

Now with that said, I too picked up this movie simply because Audrey was in it. Yes, it's true, there is a big gap after the first scene where she isn't seen at all for maybe 45 min, but I didn't even miss her because I was having so much fun with the other characters. The guy who lies about everything is too funny, the guy who justifies people who run out of his cafe and skip out on the bill by finding coupons and such which balance out the loss, actually.... getting into all the characters here could take quite a while, but this is one of the best movies I've seen in a while.

Audrey Tautou's character Irene is not the overdone sugary girl that Amelie was. In fact, as Irene, her rudeness to a bum asking for change caught me off guard at first. In this film, Irene is a girl with good intentions, but over the course of a (very awful) day, her disposition becomes more and more sour and pessimistic.

What makes this film completely great is you have all these really interesting stories and plots building... very entertaining to watch, great scenery and shots, very colorful and never too slow, and all of the characters can actually act. The best part of the movie comes with about 20 minutes left.... this is when all of the plots start to mesh together and the ride really picks up and everything ties together and makes sense, and the whole butterfly effect blossoms. I swear, it was the best 20 minutes of film I've seen in quite a while, and the ending.... It made me think "damn I really lucked out finding this movie". The ending to this movie is top notch. Whoever wrote the script for this is brilliant, because not only are there all these other subplots going on, but to somehow make them all tie in together (and in a sensible manner, which is the case here) but also to make each character feel human and come alive, not just some stale persona used as a crutch to build up this whole butterfly effect... very impressive.

I highly suggest this movie as it's a great film to watch anytime, in any mood, with any company or alone.


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