The world is not going to end on Friday. The world is not going to end on Friday. In fact, we can’t wait for Saturday because then all this “end of the world” nonsense will be over and we can all go back to pretending the world’s resources are infinite. You may be going to an “End of the World”-themed party or bar night on Friday. And any excuse for a party is a fine one, ultimately, just be sure of a couple things before you go out. First, that the party that you are attending is not a secret Doomsday cult meeting and you have no exit strategy. Second, don’t let anyone talk you into doing anything stupid because the world might end, or whatever. This isn’t a Christmas movie, where everyone makes silly declarations of love and impulsive marriage proposals because “it’s Christmas,” which is never an excuse to do anything like that in real life. And be sure to get good alcohol and dress nicely, not as a “just incase the world does end” precaution, but because you’ll have a nicer night, especially when surrounded by Fake Apocalypse revelers.
Or, if you’re from the tiny French town of Bugarach, nestled beneath the Pyrenees, with a population of just under 200, you’re going to have to ride the day out with—or try to capitalize on—all the apocalypse tourists and doomsday cultists who believe the prophecy that this little town, beneath the alien “spaceship garage” in the Pic de Bugarach mountain, is the only one that will survive the 21st. The townsfolk are selling stones from the face of the mountain, and for €15a pop, water from its spring. But the most unusual offering is that of an intimate dinner at the site of our potential doomsday, with apocalyptic pizza and ‘End of the World’ vintage wine. It’s like Doomsday Disneyland up in here. And doomsday tourism, when you think about it, is kind of gross, in the same way that the nuclear test sites in New Mexico draw tourists or the “disaster tourism” epidemic that plagued New Orleans. Capitalizing on fear is really pretty gross. And, the Mayans are kind of pissed off about all the negative attention and doomsday voyeurism and representations of their culture, so uh, maybe knock it off?
Pizza and wine sound like a good last meal and all, but why bother with the traveling? Just get a slice down the street and some booze (maybe the Fin du Monde Belgian ale?), a couple close friends, put a movie on (maybe the cute, underrated Seeking A Friend for the End of the World) and just wait it out until Saturday. That might be your best option.
It’s a thing, right? I’ve never had strong feelings either way, but I will say that three of her films (Atonement, this year’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and the recent Anna Karenina) have brought joy to my heart. I don’t really hear much from my male friends about it, either; she’s just kinda there, I think. But man, it seems that most women I know really don’t like her. What gives, ladies?
I don’t mean to be a Dude Who Calls Out Women here, but the criticisms I hear about Knightley’s failings here are generally reduced to "she sucks" or "her chin is too big." Yeah, sure, she has a prominent chin. But that’s like saying that Christina Hendricks is a shitty actress because of her tits, no? Isn’t there something deeper here that we can point our fingers at? I mean, compared to other figures who receive well-documented vitriol (Zooey Deschanel or Gwyneth Paltrow, to name just two examples), Keira Knightley hardly does anything annoying. She doesn’t have any lifestyle websites, and she doesn’t make an attempts at a music career. All she has done, really, is been in pretty good movies and done pretty good jobs in all of them. I mean, she did get an Oscar nomination, people. It’s not like everyone is convinced she is horrible.
So please, explain this one to me? Because I’m generally fascinated. (Is it really her chin?)
This weekend, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley face imminent death in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World as an asteroid hurtles toward the Earth. End times have proved an endless source of inspiration for the film world, some more humorous than others. Here are five previous onscreen versions of the apocalypse.
Melancholia The end of the world seemed remarkably relaxing in Lars Von Trier’s scientifically dubious Melancholia. The aesthetically pristine, possibly nap-inducing 2011 film shows Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland waiting for another planet to collide with Earth.
Perfect Sense Starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, this movie poses a five-stage apocalypse in which everyone loses one sense at a time. It’s both absurd and terrifying, but who wouldn’t want to watch something those two are in?
Shaun of the Dead Of course you’ve already seen this modern classic, which pays tribute to the history of zombie movies and remains fantastically original. You’ve got red on you.
Zombieland Cardio, double-tap, beware of bathrooms, seatbelts. You know the rules.
I Am Legend Let us all applaud this Richard Matheson adaptation for providing us with one of Jonathan and Jack’s finer moments on 30 Rock: “Maybe we are legend. You’re Will Smith, and I’m the dog.”
Fourteen years ago, the summer of 1998 was pummeled by a pair of big-budget disaster flicks. There was the sibylline Deep Impact, which featured Morgan Freeman as the president and a tidal wave that toppled the World Trade Center and the rest of the New York skyline. A month later, Michael Bay’s Armageddon wreaked havoc on cineplexes nationwide, and the sappy Diane Warren-penned, Steven Tyler-crooned “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” played on a loop in most of our heads. While disaster porn was nothing new at the time, it seemed particularly crazy that two movies about the Earth’s intergalactic demise were released within months of each other.
Last fall saw the trend’s return, but with a much more artistic and introspective sensibility. Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, in which the titular planet collides with ours, puts the impending doom in the backseat, focusing more on a pair of sisters (played by a despondent Kirsten Dunst and a raving Charlotte Gainsbourg) dealing with their own depressive tendencies and inabilities to cope with the end of the world. Following in its footsteps is Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the directorial debut of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist scribe Lorene Scafaria, which opens on Friday.
Seeking a Friend has a similar premise as Melancholia, only it eschews von Trier’s bleak world view for something much more lighthearted and humorous. It features a star-studded supporting cast, with Connie Britton, Rob Corddry, and Patton Oswalt all making appearances as existential characters reacting to the news of a destructive asteroid by burning familial bridges, embracing free love, and trying heroin. But at the center of the film are Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley as an unlikely couple traveling the country after fleeing riotous New York City. The duo come to terms with the looming destruction by reflecting on their past relationships while experiencing a budding romance. Their world ends just as the Mayans predicted, only with an extra dose of passion. The apocalypse has never been so uplifting.
The end of the world doesn’t seem like ripe material for a romantic comedy, but here goes: In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley star as strangers who maybe — just maybe — find themselves in similar straits after it’s announced that an asteroid will collide with the Earth. Accompanying by a ringing indie rock soundtrack and a delightfully morbid string of jokes, they’ll attempt to navigate the waters of dreams deferred and unresolved midlife crises while trying to avoid thinking about the fiery rock above them. Of course, there’s no indication that Carell and Knightley will fall for each other — in fact, she seems to be trying to reunite him with his long-lost love. But you know how these things are, and frequently go.
This will be the directorial debut of Lorene Scafaria, who previously wrote the unfortunately titled/existing Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. In case her reputation throws you off, don’t worry: the trailer looks fun and snappy, filled with enough in-the-now comedy actors like Patton Oswalt and Community‘s Gillian Jacobs to make the end of the world seem like it might not be so bad, after all. (Until the fire and the death, of course.) It’s out on June 22.