Despite the latter half of its title, Seeking puts the charm back in “charming.” The film accomplishes this by doing the impossible on two levels…firstly, by making a serious subject something to laugh at without falling into the always too familiar traps of over-the-top parody, satire or spoof. Secondly, the film takes the genre of romantic comedy and gives it edge without too much violence, shock or sadness. This thread-the-needle balance helps brings the story across at an even pace.
The simple premise manages to both set an easy-to-follow plot while challenging one’s imagination. Basically, as the title suggests, the end of the world is coming, in this case courtesy of a large asteroid set to collide with Earth. Thankfully this is not over-explained in some fancy sci-fi fashion nor does it get too technical as to bore us. With impending doom just days away two recently abandoned people (played by Steve “The Office” Carell and Keira Knightley) escorted by a recently abandoned dog, try and right a few wrongs, settle some old scores and seek out love. Their road trip begins after a riot forces them to flee their apartment building.
Leaving behind memories of a recently failed marriage and an actual loser boyfriend the couple encounter a suicidal man followed closely by his hired hit man, over friendly restaurant workers, an overzealous policeman and a militant ex-boyfriend in his make shift bomb shelter. These bizarre characters and experiences help turn platonic emotions into true love before it’s too late in a very touching ending which again threads the needle of sadness and sweetness to sew up a very satisfying climax.
The tightly-scrubbed script by Lorene Scafaria isn’t bogged down by obvious dialogue or clichés. Equally impressive is her direction, which gives the actors plenty of space to do the work of acting. This approach to filmmaking brings about great performances from both Steve Carell and Keira Knightley whose chemistry and versatility in these roles will add to their repute.