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Happy Accidents

Happy Accidents title card

Year - 2000
Studio - Independent Film Channel
Stars - Marisa Tomei, Vincent D'Onofrio, Nadia Dajani, Holland Taylor, Tovah Feldshuh, Sean Gillette
Director - Brad Anderson
Writing Credits - Brad Anderson (screenplay)
Music - Evan Lurie


Ruby Weaver (Marisa Tomei) has had too many failed romantic relationships. When she meets with her girlfriends, they compare experiences and file their combined old boyfriend photos in an "ex-files" box. She also sees a therapist (Holland Taylor) regularly about her problems.

She meets an eccentric but, somehow, charming man, Sam Deed (Vincent D'Onofrio) on a park bench. He reacts to some common sights as if he's never seen them before, is fearful of small dogs, and seems to space out occasionally. Sam says that he is from Dubuque, Iowa, and has recently moved to New York to try to start a new life after the drowning death of his sister. Ruby is fascinated with Sam's unpredictability and they are soon seeing each other constantly.

Ruby begins to see inconsistencies in his stories and, when confronted, he claims that he is actually from the future, that he is from 2439 and that Dubuque is then on the Atlantic Coast. He adds that the spells that he experiences are "temporal drag syndrome", an aftereffect of rapid time travel. He explains that he time traveled back to now to save someone, and that he was provided a "back story" to explain his presence by his contact, "Christy Delancey". At Ruby's insistence, Sam goes for a session with Ruby's therapist.

Happy Accidents poster

When Ruby continues to challenge Sam's truthfulness, he confesses that he is actually here to try to prevent Ruby's accidental death on the coming Friday. She is starting to find his sincerity convincing, when she discovers his "parent's" Dubuque phone number in his wallet. She speaks to Sam's father who tells her that he receives periodic similar calls from "all of Sam's gals".

Since the whole plot of Happy Accidents revolves around whether Sam is or is not from the future, it would seem unfair to say more, even in a "Spoilers" section. Suffice it to say that Happy Accidents does qualify as a Film Blanc movie.

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