Leave it to Steve Carrell to make me fall in love with movies all over again. I was so surprised by my reaction to this movie – I knew it would be good (Keira Knightley doesn’t make bad movies) but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was.
The movie centers on two characters, Penny (Knightley) and Dodge (Carrell), who end up spending the last couple weeks on Earth together. There’s an asteroid headed for the planet, and all Penny wants is to go home to England to be with her family, while Dodge wants to find his high school girlfriend, the love of his life, after discovering a letter from her that Penny had forgotten to given him (nothing malicious, just misdelivered and misplaced mail).
However, while they’re on their own quests, (possible spoiler, but not really) they fall for each other, and actually resolve some unfinished business in their final days.
It’s got that indie feel to it, in an awesome way. Knightley is perfect, again, as a sort of scatterbrained free spirit. And Carrell channels his dramatic side and pulls it off wonderfully as usual. While I think Crazy Stupid Love was a slightly better movie overall, I think Carrell’s character in SAFFTEOTW (holy shit that’s a long movie title!) surpasses Cal Weaver in its sincerity and sweetness.
Also, the movie managed to avoid the Armageddon cliches really well, which is to be applauded. We’ve become obsessed with end-of-the-world movies and stories in the past twenty years (if not before), and as a result, a lot of themes, scenes and snippets of dialogue have become commonplace. This movie succeeds in being a bittersweet love story, without indulging in the desire to let the characters live or to leave it open for a sequel.
If nothing in this review has convinced you to see this movie, watch it for the dog. He has perhaps the greatest end-of-the-world situation name EVER. I won’t spoil it for you, because it really is that awesome. And hearing Keira Knightley say his name in her British accent is even better than the name itself. Seriously. Happy viewing!
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