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    Your favorite guilty pleasure is ‘Serendipity’

    John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in “Serendipity.”
    John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in “Serendipity.”

    For four years, has hosted the Romance Rumble, a Sweet 16-style bracket competition that pits my favorite romantic movies against those of a Boston Globe film critic. This year, the category was “Guilty Pleasures,” and, dear readers, thanks to your votes, I won.

    The winner of this year’s Romance Rumble is one of my picks — the 2001 John Cusack-Kate Beckinsale movie “Serendipity,” which bested Ty Burr’s most popular choice, the Adam Sandler comedy “The Wedding Singer.”

    I wouldn’t have chosen “Serendipity” to win the entire competition. Ty and I simply made 16 picks each and allowed readers to vote on their favorites. My first choice would have been the Cybill Shepherd-Robert Downey Jr. comedy “Chances Are,” which did make it to the Final Four.


    Something tells me that “The Wedding Singer” wouldn’t have been Ty’s first choice either. He probably would have preferred his other Final Four picks, “Pillow Talk,” the 1959 movie starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson, and the addictive-yet-baffling “The Lake House” starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.

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    Still, we understand why you chose “Serendipity.” In fact, Ty and I both had the film on our original lists, but he let me keep it.

    The movie is a pleasure because of the banter between Cusack and Jeremy Piven; the silliness of John Corbett as Beckinsale’s New Age, musician fiance; and the perfect sadness of Bridget Moynahan, who is so good at looking pitiful.

    The movie is a guilty pleasure because of its message. Two adults in seemingly good relationships (Cusack and Beckinsale) seek to ditch their nice partners (Moynahan and Corbett) to find someone they were attracted to for just one night, and many years before. It’s a movie that makes a case for love at first sight and missed connections, as opposed to real love that takes work. The audience roots for these impulsive, selfish people to find one another, which makes everyone a guilty accomplice.

    If you voted for this movie in the Romance Rumble or simply want to see it, you can watch it with Ty and me on March 5 at Theatre 1 at the Revere Hotel. Ty and I will introduce the film and provide some guilty-pleasure trivia. There will also be cupcakes. For information about how to sign up, check Letters on Wednesday.

    Meredith Goldstein’s advice column Love Letters appears in The Boston Globe on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. She can be reached at