A collection of reviews of films from off the beaten path; a travel guide for those who love the cinematic world and want more than the mainstream releases.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
I'm going to tell you something right up front that you know already if you read the title of the film- at the end of the film everyone dies. I need to get that out of the way because I don't want to give you false hope, there is none. On the other hand this is a charming romance about finding your soul mate, if only for a little while.
When a mission to stop a rapidly approaching asteroid fails horribly the fate of the world is sealed. Steve Carrell's wife (no, it really is his wife) goes running off. He like millions of other people go through life while the TV and radio count down to the end. While some want to indulge hedonistic desires Carrell just wants to find someone nice. As time begins to run out he makes the acquaintance of Keira Knightly, who is the girlfriend of a guy in his building. When rioting breaks out they end up on road trip, partly aimed at having Knightly get back to her family and partly aimed at Carell reconnecting with the love of his life.
A wonderful charming film that pretty much has everything except a sequel possibility, this is a film that is clearly a labor of love. It had to be, I mean how else do you explain a film that has Carell and Knightly in the lead but also cameos from Martin Sheen, William Peterson, Patton Oswalt and several other name people. Who would sign on a for a film that leaves you feeling really conflicted at the end.
I was not in the best place to see the film which I saw not long after Hurricane Sandy did a number on the neighborhood. While I could enjoy the romance and the humor, I really didn't need to go to the end of the world because my friends and family were experiencing it. Current mental head space aside I really enjoyed the film a great deal. Honestly it's in its way a perfect romance that kind of ends before the gilding is off the rose and you never have to worry about what happens after the end.
One of numerous recent end of world stories the film is wonderfully atypical. Like Abel Ferrara's 4:44 this film has life going on despite the impending end. Like the maid who keeps showing up to clean for Carell, what else are you going to do really? I really like that like 4:44 the film takes the scenario in a different direction than you expect, I mean a romance...perhaps even a romantic comedy under these circumstances, really?
Is it perfect? No. the film never gets the tonal shifts right with some really odd shifts keeping us the wrong sort of off balance occur. On the other hand there is almost no other film out there like it.
This is a film to search out. I think the film may have just, perhaps, maybe made back it's money so it's not a big hit everyone is going to know about. At the same time I don't think that after it's initial run on cable this is going to play much, I mean I doubt this film will ever end up in constant replay. The end result is that this film will, by the this time next year rolls around will have become completely lost. No one will be looking for it or talking about it, it will be lost except in the memory of a few fans and few movie fans. Don't let the film die. see it and share it. Its not the best of the year but it's so wonderfully atypical- more so when you realize this came from Hollywood- that it shouldn't be lost.
See this film.
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