New on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming this week, one of the year's surprise best films comes home to show off its assets, while love and politics get complicated.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Steve Carell is the quintessential sad-clown comic. Oh, he’s fully capable of going for broke in off-the-wall comedies like 'Anchorman' or 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin.' Yet even when Carell plays serious – as he has done in such well-received feature films as 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' or 'Little Miss Sunshine' – audiences find themselves laughing along through their tears.
You might have the same reaction from ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,’ a deeper-than-expected Armageddon comedy that finds two lost souls searching for redemption before an asteroid takes out our planet. We recently posted our one-on-one conversation with Carell’s ‘End of the World’ co-star, Keira Knightley. Now it’s ‘The Office’ star’s turn to open up about his Armageddon menu and the one item he'd preserve in a time capsule if our planet was on the brink.
‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ is like Michael Bay’s ‘Armageddon,’ only played for laughs. It takes place in a not-so-distant future, where an asteroid is destined to obliterate our planet in 21 days. Once that premise is established, the film follows two lonely souls during their final days as they try to resolve what they believe to be their most-important emotional issues.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Keira Knightley to discuss ‘The End of the World’ as she knows it and how it would affect their thinking. She opens up about her value systems, her sense of mortality, and how she thinks she might have failed her friends and family. (Sad face?) Here’s Keira Knightley:
This is a bold idea: an apocalypse movie on a tiny scale, set not amongst the ragtag group of astronauts trying to save the world from an impending asteroid collision but rather in a New York City apartment building where two lonely people try to make sense of what little existence they have left.
As 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' begins, a last ditch effort to blow up an oncoming meteor fails, and the end is officially nigh: in 21 days, the Earth will be destroyed. That's when we meet Dodge (Steve Carell), whose wife takes the news of their certain doom as her cue to bolt from their loveless marriage, and Dodge's neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley), who sleeps a lot, loves vinyl records, and misses her family back in England. But while 'Seeking's' idea may be bold, its execution is weak. There's more humor and poignancy in the occasional news reports from a comfortingly calm television newsman than any of the scenes involving our two leads.