Monday, March 10, 2014

Seeking a Friend For the End of the World

Released in 2012, Directed by Lorene Scafaria

 Starring Kiera Knightley, Steve Carell, Martin Sheen

So this is a movie about the days leading up to the end of the world, breaking my stride for post-apocalypse, but it's also Kiera Knightley, and how can you not love anything she does? Intensely smart, witty, and achingly beautiful, she could make Honey Boo Boo bearable. 

It's also got Steve Carell, another favorite of mine from the Daily Show Farm League, who finally proves he can play more than a shmuck, though he only just starts to shake the dumb guy robes about halfway through the movie. He seems a bit stiff in places unfortunately, but not in a Paul Reiser way, not that bad. I think he's just gotten so used to being a punchline that he needs a couple more movies like this to pull off a good dramatic role.

So what happens is, there's a huge mammoth asteroid headed straight for planet Earth, and everyone has just three weeks to live. So naturally, it's time to run out and steal big screen televisions and smash cars. Unless you're the guy who was just told he had six months to live with cancer, and now he's got three weeks before impact, so what do? Live it up and celebrate the End of Days, or hire a hitman to take yourself out? Some people, most people, choose to party up and suddenly restaurants are welcoming pets for half price specials and no one calls the cops when an orgy breaks out at table twelve. High school parties become bucket list events tossed up with fireworks and heroin, and more orgies. And some angry men are just plain angry so they run around smashing and setting fire to things while the world goes puddi.

But not our Steve (Dodge), no no, not our well behaved, kind-hearted guy next door. He wont do heroin or jump into an orgy because that's for bad people, and a modern Hollywood protagonist can no longer be a bad boy can he? Because you, dear audience, are not a bad boy are you? You would not do such things would you? Surely no, no. But your wife would. In fact, Dodge's wife freaks out and ditches him right at the start, so in his typical mild-mannered fashion, he puts on some vinyl until the riots reach his walls, then decides to take off for a road trip to visit his high school sweetheart. What else to do with the last days right? But his real genius is deciding to grab up his cute neighbor in the apartment next door, the lovely Kiera Knightley. Hey, I don't care how many drug-packed orgies are going down at Denny's, if Kiera Knightley is my neighbor and she's stuck with a jobless dunce for a roommate who doesn't even have a car to escape, I'm gonna whistle to the lass and hi-tail it outta town.

So off they go to find a few people they really want to say goodbye to before the world goes BOOM, and along the way there's comedy, drama, heartache, and romance. It's believable, funny, and warm. Super well-placed music like The Hollies "The Air That I Breathe" make the right statements. 

Pretty unusual for an apocalypse flick, that you actually feel OK when it all ends. 

Check out the soundtrack here

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