Not the film I’d watch if the world was about to end
If you knew that he world was going to end in three weeks, how would you spend those last few days? Would you be praying? Drinking? Fucking? Dancing? Crying and cursing whoever sent that asteroid in the direction of Earth? Or would you rather kill yourself sine you’re going to die anyway and don’t want to prolong your suffering?
“What if…?” I never get tired of asking that question. The funny thing is that the answer to it always tells more about the life we’re living now than about the future. When you imagine the incoming disaster, your priorities will suddenly fall into place. Some things matter a lot more than we give them credit to, others a lot less. Look Death in the eyes and you’ll notice a switch.
Coming from this I had hoped that I would like Seeking a friend for the End of the World a little more than I did. This movie is about what would have followed if Bruce Willis had failed to blow the asteroid into pieces. Like in Melancholia we know right from the start that this isn’t going to end well. The people we’re going to spend time with are bound to die in a cosmic collision. What we’ll see is how they spend their last days.
But apart from the set-up, the two movies don’t have a lot in common. Where Melancholia was powerful and knocked me over with its beauty and artfulness, Seeking a friend for the End of the World is lightweight – a little bit too light for my taste.
I’ve never had a good chemistry with Steve Carell, who here goes on a road trip in company with Keira Knightley as the end is approaching. And what is worse: Keira doesn’t seem to “feel it” either. I don’t buy into them as a couple, and this is a bit of a problem when it’s clearly intended to be a romantic comedy. But it’s not just the romance that is lacking; the comedy is as well. People talk with voices that are slightly exaggerated, as if they’re saying something funny. The problem is that they aren’t. Instead they undermine the drama that comes with a situation that is this desperate. You don’t take it as seriously as it deserves, but you can’t fully laugh at it either. You’re stuck somewhere in between with a couple you don’t believe in for a second.
I buy into the idea to follow some people during their last days in a world that is going to end. It’s a shame that it was wasted.
The dog was cute though, I’ll give it that much.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Lorene Scafaria, US 2012) My rating: 2/5