Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Radio Announcer: The final mission to save mankind has failed...the 70 mile wide asteroid known as 'Matilda' is set to collide with Earth in exactly three weeks time, and we'll be bringing you our countdown to the end of days, along with all your classic rock favorites.
The world is going to be destroyed by a huge meteor. In the month that's left, what would you do with the rest of your life? Steve Carrell decides to find his high school sweetheart. Tagging along is his neighbor who's trying to get to her family. Yep. It's a road trip at the end of the world.

Finally. A Steve Carrell movie that I can recommend without saying, "Except for these stupid scenes." And one that made me interested in Keira Knightly in her recent roles since it seems as if she's matured some as an actress as well as in her appearance since the early Pirates and soccer movies I saw her in.

It's a gutsy and interesting movie that dares to take the above premise and make a romantic comedy. It mostly works except for a few plot holes which we were willing to overlook.

I enjoyed this all the way through. Tom felt the middle sagged but they grabbed him again in the last third. I would say the difference between our attitudes may lie in the fact that once I grasped this as an apocalyptic tale, I settled in for the standard formula of having the middle of the story being travel that exposes us to different ways of coping with the disaster. Tom didn't have that formula to fall back on. That said, this could have been a trimmer and nimbler film at 90 minutes.

More than anything, this affected me profoundly with the idea of everything being over. Done. Kaput. Finis. The End.

You'd think that, as a Catholic, I'd be used to the reality that life can end at any moment. Like many things, intellectual understanding is different than having a concrete example right in front of you. I like to think that I'd be ready to meet my Maker if I was hit by a truck today, but am I really? So this led me to some consideration of Final Things (death, judgment, heaven, hell) which was doubtless good for me. Certainly, it provided additional depth and direction to my spiritual meditations over the next few days.

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