20 oct. 2012

My Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (5/10)

¨ I just can't spend the last month of my life getting to know someone. It's ridiculous.¨

Love is a strange thing; it can happen in unexpected places and with very poor timing sometimes, but it also is a very beautiful thing. In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the new apocalyptic comedy starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, we have such a romantic story evolve in the unlikeliest of situations. As much as I wanted to like this film I wasn´t able to due to the pacing of the film and the absurdity of some situations. I really liked the two main characters; it was just everything else that seemed out of place. The film is very different from other movies so I have to give it some credit for trying to stay clear of the usual Hollywood conventions for the genre. The supporting cast really didn’t help the film, but Carell and Knightley were pretty strong and convincing together. This was Lorene Scaforia´s directorial debut; she had written the screenplay for Nick and Norah´s Infinite Playlist, a film I really enjoyed that also dealt with discovering love in unexpected places and had a similar premise with both characters searching for love in different places before falling for each other. Scaforia also wrote the screenplay for this film, but it wasn’t as strong as her previous work. There were some funny moments here and there, but for the most part I really felt bored with the story. The last 15 minutes of the film are probably the best part of the movie so I must say it did end in a positive note, but just not enough to make me recommend it. I still liked this better than last year´s apocalyptic melodrama Melancholia.  

The movie begins with a radio announcement stating that an asteroid is heading towards Earth and that in three weeks the world will end. The latest mission to try to destroy the asteroid named ¨Matilda¨ was unsuccessful and now all there is left is to wait for the end. As soon as the announcement is over we see Dodge (Steve Carell) commenting to his wife about it in their car when all of a sudden she gets off and runs away from him. Dodge discovers that his wife never loved him and has no idea what to do with the few weeks he has left. His life takes an unexpected turn when he runs into his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) and talks with her for the first time. Her family is in England and she missed the last flight so she´s having an emotional breakdown. Dodge tries to consol her best he can although the sight of him alone would make anyone sadder. Penny realizes she has collected a bunch of mail from his apartment that the mailmen has accidently been leaving in her mailbox and gives it to him. Among those letters he finds one from an ex girlfriend named Olivia who he considers to have been the love of his life. The letter had been sent three months ago saying how much she missed him and acknowledging that he too was the love of his life. Dodge realizes that he must reunite with Olivia before the end of the world and at the same time tells Penny that he knows someone who can fly her to England. So they decide to help each other out in their journey running into some unfortunate situations along the way as the countdown begins.

Someone mentioned how Steve Carell reminded them of Charlie Brown because of the way he attracts others with his sadness. He has this sort of puppy face and in this film it works perfectly along with his deadpan humor. He is great in this film and so is Keira Knightley (although a bit over the top in her performance), but I really didn’t like the rest of the cast in this film. There are some strange and bizarre situations that don’t work really well, but I must admit I did enjoy the soundtrack. The film has its comedic moments, but it also gets emotional at times. It reminds us that life isn’t all about surviving, but rather discovering love in unexpected places. We might be heading in one direction, but all of a sudden something unexpected happens that makes us change our plans and that is exactly what life is all about. We shouldn’t be so busy trying to plan out our lives because sometimes the best things in life are what is happening around us right now. That is the message the film got across to me, but that is the beauty of films it speaks to us all differently. I wish I would have liked this film as much as others did, but I just was left a little disappointed and expected more. Nick and Norah´s Infinite Playlist is a similar but much better film than this one so go see that instead.

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