Sunday, May 12, 2002

Happenstance ("The Beating of the Butterfly's Wings") (IMDB) (Netflix)
A slightly conceptual morsel-ette about the random interactions that determine how our life turns out (the beating of the butterly's wings in one part of the world sparks a set of events that become a hurricane in another part of the globe--the chaos theory metaphor) and the web of connections people belong to. Audrey Tautou, from Amelie, heads a cast of dozens of people who run into each other, don't run into each other, make choices, or let chance determine those choices for them.

There are some nice little moments sprinkled throughout, but the film never builds to hurricane velocity, or much of any kind of dramatic vortex. The butterfly might have been flapping his wings off, but he did it in a sealed container. For a more affecting take on the power of chance, try renting Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow.