Happy Accidents is a love story set in New York City: The perfect date movie for a romantic woman and the nerdy guy who cannot seem to stay away from Star Trek conventions. The lead male, Sam Deed (Vincent D’Onofrio), claims to be a back-traveler. That’s right, he is from the future, 2470. Or is he?
Ruby Weaver (Marisa Tomei) thinks she has found the perfect guy. However, the plot begins to take strange turns as Sam reveals his past is actually the future. He is from Dubuque, Iowa on the Atlantic coast.
Ruby does what any good recovering co-dependent would do, she asks her therapist (Holland Taylor) for advice. The therapist notifies Ruby that Sam is suffering from TLE, a rare illness that results in an overactive imagination.
But poor Ruby has already fallen for Sam. Her best friend, Gretchen (Nadia Dajani), tells Ruby to make the time-travel bit a game the two can play.
Happy Accidents is an intriguing movie that captures your attention from the get-go. Vincent D’Onofrio (Steal This Movie and The Cell) plays the charming, child-like character of Sam perfectly.
On their first date, Sam arrives at Ruby’s apartment with a handful of oldie records while Ruby is dolled up expecting to go out. Humor ensues as Sam does not know how to use the record player.
His naiveté is irresistible. You quickly learn that Sam is ignorant about many common things. However, he can rattle off future events as if recalling historic facts.
Ruby’s game with Sam begins to become harder to play. Sam persists with his time-travel story and inevitably the tension rises between the two.
Marisa Tomei, of My Cousin Vinny fame, plays the confused, lovelorn Ruby with dead-on facial expressions that showcase the anguish she is harboring. She is torn between her feelings for Sam, common sense, suggestions from her therapist and her faithful friend Gretchen.
The closing scenes reach a fever pitch. Sam tells Ruby that her death is imminent. He insists she stays home all day. Ruby finally capitulates and listens to Sam’s advice by barricading herself home.
But as fate would have it, Sam gets called away for an emergency at work. In the meantime, Ruby decides to call the number on the back of Sam’s family photos. The response she hears leads her to flee the apartment and to leave Sam for good.
The climax stunningly reveals the truth. The movie’s details push headlong into a rush that will leave your mouth gaping and trying to remember previous details that seemed unimportant (but now crucial) when first presented.
Happy Accidents is no accident – a well-crafted movie.