seeking a friend for the end of the world 
actor steve carell seems to be the nicest sincerest dude in movies today. he's such a lovable everyman that even dreck -- if he's in it -- shines bright. i don't know much about his co-star keira knightley, i don't think i've seen any of the movies where she has a role. part of the advantages of aging is a not-give-a-shit kind of attitude and i really don't care who is hot or not in pop culture. often i scan the gossip rags in the grocery store check-out line and wonder who the fuck are these people?!
at any rate, carell's wife leaves him in a panic when they learn an asteroid is on a collision course with earth. in three weeks all life on earth will be snuffed out. knightley is carell's kooky twentysomething neighbor. together they travel in search of carell's lost high school sweetheart and he promises knightley he can get her on a plane to england and back to her family.
a three-prong movie: road, romantic comedy and an entry in a very long list of apocalyptic fare. since the turn of the millennium end-of-the-world films have become a dominant sub-genre. phd dissertations can be -- and probably are -- written on the 21st century end of times kind of cinema. because i am a sucker for all three prongs i liked this movie better than the movie actually deserves.
i like this movie because filmmaker lorene scafaria populated her end of the world film full of sweet well-loving people. there are kooks, like the trucker, played by the always watchable william peterson, with a terminal illness who commits suicide thru a hired assassin. then there are the restaurant workers who choose to spend their last weeks serving food and drinks and engaging in drunken orgies. then there are the beachcombers who have family picnics after either getting married, or blessed by a priest [?], i couldn't tell. whatever was happening on the beach the picnics were hosted by sweet natured people and our heroes were warmly welcomed.
that's what got me about this movie. there is a bit of chaotic violence in the beginning when carell and knightley meet and bond during a deadly riot which sets them on the road but this pic is a very sweet natured movie. its denizens are ordinary, confused, frightened, and loving toward their fellows. i'm a sucker for such sentiments.
i like end-of-the-world movies because i like to see how people would behave at such an intensity. carell and knightly have just enough chemistry to make their odd pairing work. in the light of a killer asteroid hurtling toward earth carell's and knightley's age difference is of no consequence. they connect as lovers because it is the end-times.
i believed them as lovers, and during the final frames of the couple lay entwined in bed as background explosions signaled the end of the world i was moved. call me a sucker for romance but i say only the cynic, the realist and/or the sour could deny the strength of love, at the end of the world.