"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movies About Connecting

Last night I watched a double bill of - wait for it - very similar movies:  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Safety Not Guaranteed.

Seeking a Friend has Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, and Britta from Community, but it's not really a comedy. There are a few funny bits, but really it's about how different people cope with the world ending.  It is, however, very touching.  It's really an improved remake of Last Night (also billed as a comedy).  It also reminded me a lot of Melancholia - and relatively speaking it's hilarious, but Melancholia is a tragically depressing film.  In Seeking, people find various ways to manage beyond looking forlorn and weeping.  Some go for destruction, and others maintain a strict routine in a massive bid at denial, and many more leave on a widely hedonistic note.  That's actually believable to me.  Sure people will be distraught or desperate, but many will be wasted for those final three weeks.  The couple we're following have a quest to find their loved ones in the last days, and they develop a relationship of sorts over the course of their road trip.

For some reason, that part of it reminded me of The Sure Thing.  Weird.

Safety Not Guaranteed is about a trio of magazine writers (well, one writer and two interns) tracking down a man who put out an ad seeking a friend to go back in time with him in his time machine.  And, like Seeking, the intern and time machine dude develop a relationship of sorts over the course of putting the finishing touches on the machine.  This one is quirky and sweet and hopeful.  It leaves lots of questions, but they don't really matter in the end.

Both films are about the importance of making connections with anyone we can.  Life is short.  What makes both films work, I think (because neither got consistently good reviews), is the actors. The movies are full of plot holes, so it's not about the stories.  If the Earth is about to be knocked off its axis, then how will it help to be in a bomb shelter - at all?  How could three bumbling reporters uncover dirt on a guy more efficiently than the FBI who's been following him for years?  But these things don't matter here.  Carell and Knightley were spectacular.  Right now it's my favourite film for both of them. They're crass but tender, and very real.  And in Safety, Aubrey Plaza, Mark Dupless, and Jake Johnson were all compelling to watch.  It was lovely.

B+ for both.

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