Monday, June 25, 2012

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)

One of my all time favorite movies is Don McKellar's 1998(9) Canadian Apocalyptic Comic-Drama, "Last Night."  When I first saw the trailer for Lorene Scafaria's "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World," I couldn't help but note the strange similarities between scenes in the trailer and McKellar's film.  The opening scene of the trailer features a Radio DJ uttering the line "We'll be bringing you our countdown to the end of days along with all your Classic Rock favorites," which instantly made me think of the DJ in "Last Night" opening the movie with "Coming up on the last night on the planet and you're listening to CKRT, the Top 500 Songs of All Time, with you right until the end."

The next scene in the trailer is of Steve Carell walking into a semi-abandoned office building, pointlessly going to work, which made me think of David Cronenberg's fate in McKellar's film.  Cut to the scene in the trailer with the celebratory friendly gathering, in which the charming, but depressed leading man is being pressured by his friends to "hook-up" and avoid "dying alone."  Then there's a distraught girl directly outside our lead's apartment, she needs help.  Together, the two set of on a journey trying to help one another (in Mckellar's film, the lead only wants to help her).  This stuff was all in the trailer.  To be fair to the movie though, there are plenty of differences between the films, foremost among them being the fact this movie is much more of a "road movie" than "Last Night" is.   

So going into the movie, you have to believe me when I say that I tried very very hard to remain objective while viewing "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World."  And to it's credit, for much of the movie, I was enjoying myself, for the most part.   Keira Knightly was pretty bad in the movie, especially when she cried.  Usually when people cry in real life, they're either in pain or trying to manipulate someone.  When she cried in the movie I didn't believe she was in pain, nor did I find her convincing enough to be manipulated by her.

I was really hoping to like this movie more, if for no other reason than that I like Steve Carell and want him to make good movies.  That being said, I liked him in it, but overall I thought the movie was a 2 1/2 star effort.

As far as remaining objective went, I felt like I was doing a pretty good job until the last 15 minutes or so.  The ending of the movie, while not the exact same, bore enough of a similarity to send me fuming from the theater as the credits rolled.

On a side note, how much do I love "Last Night?"  When I was programming for the Austin film series, Cinema41, the first movie I chose was "Last Night," and we even finagled Don Mckellar himself and Cinematographer Doug Koch for a Skype Q&A.  Here is the Q&A in it's entirety.


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