This week Danielle brings a movie she has an uneasy history with, it’s the 1990 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film Joe Versus the Volcano. Joe Banks is your typical work-a-day cog, unhappy with his life. Fortunately (?) he learns he has a rare disease called a brain cloud, which is asymptomatic but will kill him in six months. Joe accepts this without question, and so also agrees to help a millionaire superconductor magnate secure the mining rights on a small Polynesian island by jumping into a volcano. None of this crazy plot really matters because this movie has, just, so many Meg Ryans, you guys, so many. It seems Sam and Danielle have uncovered the truth of the Tom Hanksiverse series of movies and it will shock you (it’s Meg Ryan, the truth is it’s Meg Ryan all the way down). Despite these shocking revelations, Danielle and Sam manage to get through this movie about a man dealing with his mortality through encounters with a series of Meg Ryans, but they have one qualm with the film: It needs more Meg Ryans.
In the final installment of this year’s Winter Bizarre, Danielle brings out the big guns with the John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale rom-com Serendipity. A chance encounter in a New York department store brings Sara and Jonathan together. Even though they’re both happily seeing other people, Jonathan seems determined to find a way to be with Sara. Sara dodges his advances by setting up elaborate tests of fate that will tell them if they are meant to be together. Sam has exactly zero patience for Sara’s fate-based abdication of personal responsibility, Danielle, meanwhile, is mostly just amused by his frustration. Regardless, see our “heroes” eventually brutally dump their perfectly lovely partners to be with each other because apparently fate told them to. Danielle and Sam are forced by this movie to grapple with some existential questions that are, honestly, pretty stupid. Luckily, the leads have enough charisma and charm to make everyone forget the bad philosophy and enjoy their lovelorn shenanigans.