Dir. Lorene Scafaria
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Imagine what might have happened if the team in the Bruce Willis starrer Armageddon had failed to blow up the earth bound killer asteroid? In song terms it would be less ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ and more ‘Help (I need somebody)’
I think that if asked which female they’d like to spend their last couple of weeks with Keira Knightley would probably make a lot of guy’s top 10 lists – when I got to interview her she was fun and savvy as well as sexy!? So when faced with asteroid related complete destruction, loveable loser-in-love Dodge (Steve Carell) doesn’t complain too much when he finds himself on a road trip with kooky potential last chance love interest Penny (Knightley).
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a odd mixture of romantic comedy and end-of-the-world-weep-em-up from Lorene ‘Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist’ Scafaria. The film raises lots of ‘what would you do with your last few weeks?’ questions and has some fun showing various reactions to the oncoming extinction level event. Most of the big laughs come from things like the deteriorating news coverage, which sees presenters swearing straight-faced to camera.
"people do strange things when the world is ending..."
Dodge and Penny make for a nice enough odd couple with just enough chemistry to let viewers overlook their age / attractiveness levels / lifestyle differences and knuckle down for an acceptably amusing end of days romp. The duo’s travels see them run into many weird and wacky characters which include Penny’s needy ex-boyfriend, a depressed loner who mistakes Dodge for a hit-man he has ordered to kill him and a restaurant called ‘Friendsy's’ where the staff are keen to see out their last days in an orgy of hedonism. There are moments of peril as rioting, looting and raping gangs rampage through the fast unraveling urban areas but overall the film isn’t trying to delve too deep into the dark heart of human nature.
The script and plotting are fine if not ground breaking, the cast are all good – even if Carell gives me the inadvertent creeps when he’s not playing funny roles. Keira is gorgeous as ever – and less annoying than you might think as a free spirited goodtime girl.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is by no means a classic but it does offer a different take on the both the apocalypse and your average by-the-numbers rom-com.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
ööö – It's not the end of the world (oh wait, it is!)
3 – less melancholy than Melancholia
Awesomeness ööö – interesting but not jaw dropping
Laughs ööö – you'll laugh but not all the way through
Horror öö – slightly grim in places
Babes ööö – Yep you still would (see your days out with Keira)
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – is love all you need?
"would she be your 'end of days' partner of choice?"