With three weeks left until the end of the world, Dodge(Steve Carell) is prepared to spend his final days alone, having been recently left by his wife. While many of his friends are content to go out with a bang, doing drugs and having casual sex, Dodge finds himself wondering about the one that got away, a former girlfriend named Olivia. He meets his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) who has also recently gone through a break-up but is more heartbroken that she has missed her chance to return home to England so she could be with her family one last time. The two team up to help Dodge find his lost love and develop an unexpected bond along the way.
I will warn, do not go into this movie expecting a comedy. While there are lighter moments, this deals with the end of the world and the emotions one would go through when they realize they are facing the apocalypse. I found this to be a beautiful and realistic portrayal of what would happen if we all knew it was the end of days. Some of us would do all the risky things we didn’t do because it’s not the best idea in the long term, some of us would try to fix past mistakes, and some of us would keep on doing what we had been doing.
Carell and Knightley have great chemistry, despite seemingly being today opposites from the outside. Carell is great in leading man roles as he is relatable and brings a sweetness to his character. While he has to face the literal end of the world, he discovers his life had been a lie when his wife not only leaves him, but he later learns she had been having an affair for some time. While Knightley’s character is very manic pixie dream girl, she is really into vinyl and has a sleeping disorder, you feel her pain watching her speak to her family who she knows she will never see again.
One of the recurring themes is what would you do for love. Both of the main characters make major sacrifices for the one they love, knowing there is no time for the other to return the favor.
Really enjoyed Dodge’s relationship with his father. While he has not spoken to the man in over twenty years and still holds a strong grudge against him for leaving the family, he still carries with him a gift his father gave him during happier times. It reminded me how no parents plans on being a bad one, and many times the worst offenders had once promised themselves they would never be the monster their parent was. I’m probably reading too much into it, but it added another dimension to how all the character go to where they were.
Be prepared to shed a tear or two as this film is not the romantic comedy it was advertised as, but if you decide to check it, you’ll be rewarded with a cast of unique characters and a touching story of love finding someone even in the darkest of moments.