Claudia Puig of USA Today gives this delightful movie 3 1/2 stars out of 4. She says “Theres no chance of a happy ending, but its tender mercies speak volumes.” I concur.
After the two most recent posts on victims participating in terrible relationships, its clear this is true for both Steve Carell & Kiera Knightly’s characters. Her boyfriend uses her as a human shield when bullets fly during riots & looting and he realizes he and his wife have had a terrible pretend relationship for way too long. One of the best things about this movie is that they don’t seek the false energy of being a perpetrator to heal.
In fact, they are both truly good to each other in lovely acts of kindness. She finds the address of his high school love in a drawer and does not lie or conceal it. She does whats hard & right and gives it to him. She is not selfish and sacrifices for him to pursue what matters to him despite her own feelings.
He puts her on a plane to fly & see her family on another continent, despite his own growing feelings of affection. This is not catering but an act of generosity to help her get what she wants. How rare to see real acts of love on the screen. You feel the tenderness of the caring in the relationship radiating to those of us lucky enough to be in the audience.
The only annoying part was the lack of substance to who Dodge was. He’s so constricted as a human being that with 21 days left to live he shows up at work for 2 of those 21 days. Routine is simply no excuse for not making the most of your own end of days.
I asked my husband why it was believable that they were together. He said because they didn’t have enough days left for him to be boring. So just being good & attentive was enough for her.
The movie also asks you to reflect on how you spend your time on the planet. Would you want to be with, the one who you are with now? We may not have an asteroid headed our way but we all have to have an end to our days…
“…you turn 60…(and) life grows in value because of your leave-taking with regard to it. Not very significant things suddenly look poignant and charming. This particular period of my life is full of daily novelty. That turns out to be worth a great deal.” Martin Amis NYT 6/24/12