Saturday, June 23, 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: Movie Review


Clever and witty dialogue turn this romantic comedy disaster into a charming comedy. 

I’m liking this recent trend to start Steve Carell movies with hilarious car scenes. In “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” when his wife asks for a divorce and she won’t stop talking, he jumps out of the car. Now, in “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” when an asteroid is about to destroy Earth, his wife gets out of the car and runs away, literally, on her feet, as fast as she can. 2012

Directed by: Lorene Scafaria

Screenplay by: Lorene Scafaria

Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is a romantic comedy version of the end-of-the-world movie. It’s funny because it’s clever and it is a very refreshing addition to the Hollywood formula. I was surprised by how genuinely funny it was and how they found a way to add a hint of originality to the storyline.

It starts out funny as Dodge Peterson’s (Carell) wife runs away, running shoes and perfect form and all. It gets even funnier when he goes to his friends’ house for “The Last Supper”. Warren (Rob Corddry) knew for sure that Jesus would have had a lot of alcohol, so he might as well enjoy it and let his kids have it too! Back home, Dodge meets his neighbour Penny (Keira Knightley) crying over missing her family and heartbroken over her ex-boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend is Owen (Adam Brody) and he is the funniest character you could ever hope to meet in a movie like this. While running from a violent riot that has reached their building, Penny’s short-lived boyfriend was obsessing about the future of their relationship even though the end of their lives was more imminent.

The efficiency of the set-up and simple explanation for the impending doom was much appreciated. The reactions of all the various people accurately represent how the announcement of such a disaster would likely go down. This allowed us to quickly get into the comedic beginning.

When the road trip of the movie began, we approached the romance part and things slowed down and got boring since nothing really happened. Certainly nothing that we didn’t expect to happen.

For the resolution, they went for a dramatic, schmaltzy end. The tender parts of the film didn’t work as well mostly because Knightley was still clinging to “A Dangerous Method” and seemed to confuse emotional with psychotic. She replaced tears with darting eye movements and the beauty was gone.

Despite the occasional hiccups, all the characters, particularly the supporting ones, were meaningful and added a lot to the film. The writing was stunningly deft and the charm of “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” was all thanks to the extremely clever and witty dialogue.