Happy Accidents

Director: Brad Anderson
Screenwriters: Brad Anderson

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Brad Anderson, last at Sundance with Next Stop,Wonderland. has a unique eye for modern relationships. With Happy Accidents, he turns his talents to an intricate story that is a delight to decipher as it unfolds on the screen.

Ruby (Marisa Tomei) meets Sam (Vincent D'Onofrio) in Central Park and is taken by his unfiltered honesty and quirky demeanor. He's not at all her usual type, who invariably end up deposited in the "ex-files," a shoebox filled with photos of old boyfriends. Things go quite well until he confesses he is a time traveler from the year 2470, who became obsessed with her image from an old photo. Is he for real or just a psycho with charisma? Ruby (a recovering codependent) tries to cope, but it is too late. They are falling in love.

Anderson's proven flair for dialogue is wonderfully in sync with his clever storytelling. His vision of the future poses a playful contrast to present-day trust, commitment. and denial. D'Onofrio and Tomei are a true screen romance, brimming with chemistry and presence. Above all, Happy Accidents is a love story, a throwback to an earlier era of romantic comedies, whose modern twist keeps it alive and vibrant. In many ways, Anderson is the consummate cinematic trickster. At the same time, in posing the question. “Could someone from the future change the course of your life?" he is reminding us that true love can alter destiny.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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