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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Still of Steve Carell in Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldStill of Connie Britton in Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldStill of Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldStill of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldStill of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the WorldStill of Rob Corddry in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Plot
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.

Release Year: 2012

Rating: 6.3/10 (130 voted)

Critic's Score: 63/100

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Stars: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melanie Lynskey

Storyline
An asteroid named "Matilda" is on a collision course towards Earth and in three weeks the world will come to an absolute end. What would you do if your life and the world were doomed? One man decides to spend his time searching for his long lost love from high school during the coming catastrophe.

Cast:
Brad Morris - Radio Announcer
Steve Carell - Dodge
Nancy Carell - Linda
Mark Moses - Anchorman
Roger Aaron Brown - Alfred
Rob Huebel - Jeremy
Trisha Gorman - Crying Woman
Keira Knightley - Penny
Adam Brody - Owen
Tonita Castro - Elsa
Leslie Murphy - Amy
Connie Britton - Diane
Rob Corddry - Warren
Kasey Campbell - Danny
Melanie Lynskey - Karen

Taglines: Nice knowing you.

Release Date: 22 June 2012

Filming Locations: Santa Clarita, California, USA

Technical Specs

Runtime:



User Review

It's 'The Knowing' with a few more laughs

Rating: 4/10

It's the end of the world — as we know it — and I feel, well, okay, I guess ...

After viewing this film, which has elements of "On the Beach," "The Knowing" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," it's difficult to put my finger on just how I feel about it.

On one hand, it has some fairly intelligent dialogue (thanks to writer and first-time director Lorene Scafaria, who gave us the dismal "Nick and Nora's Playlist"), a nice (if not a little too low-key) performance by Steve Carrell ("Evan Almighty") and a decent soundtrack that includes Herb Alpert and the Walker Brothers.

The plot, however, which concerns a world doomed by a quickly-approaching asteroid, leaves very little wiggle room in its conclusion, and some may find little humor in the situation.

Still, there is enough to like about the production to give my slight personal recommendation, just know this is not a movie for everyone. Part of liking this picture will depend on one believing that Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley ("Atonement") would be romantically involved. I myself, can barely fathom that situation, but, then again, maybe it's that "Last Man On Earth" syndrome — literally — you hear so much about.

Anyway, a rogue asteroid called "Matilda" (for some reason) is careening towards Earth and Man's reign is almost over. And, to put the icing on this apocalyptic cake, Dodge (Carrell) also sees his wife take off one night in a panic.

With three weeks left before the big bang, Dodge, now swigging prescription cough medicine, continues to trudge to work at an insurance company (see the irony?) and pines for an old girlfriend, Olivia, that left him decades ago.

He is invited by friends Warren (Rob Corddry, "Hot Tub Time Machine") and Diane (Connie Britton, the re-make of "A Nightmare on Elm Street") to party like it's 1999, as well as to be set up with the ditsy Karen (Melanie Lynskey, "Two and a Half Men" TV series).

The real laughs come in these early scenes as patrons use copious amounts of sex, drugs and alcohol to dull the fear and realization of their own mortality. Meanwhile, news reports (from the same station playing in every home) constantly announcing the coming calamity (the screen bug: "Countdown To The End Of Days") drone on and on, just to let us know the end of the world is nigh.

Later, Dodge finds out his cuckoo Pigeon Sister neighbor Penny (Knightley) has kept three years worth of his mail, including a letter from Olivia, that‚ conveniently enough — claims he was always the love of her life. Now motivated to spend the last three weeks of his life searching for his long lost love (although he has no idea where she lives), he takes off, barely escaping a riot, with Penny and boyfriend in tow.

That subplot anchor is soon dropped off, though, and the two proceed to gather clues to Olivia's whereabouts. She stays with Dodge because he promises to get her back to England to see her family, even though all commercial flights have been suspended (again for SOME reason).

Predictability becomes a burden, however, because we KNOW something will happen with these two. We also know this road trip will introduce several incidental and over-the-top Jarmuschian characters, such as a man (William Petersen, "CSI") who has hired an assassin to kill him, the Devil-may-care staff at a roadside diner, Penny's survivalist ex-boyfriend (Derek Luke, who lives in a fallout shelter and has a seemingly endless supply of food, water, fuel, and fleet of mini automobiles) and Dodge's estranged father (Martin Sheen, "The Departed") looking for a second chance with his son.

it's all a bit much, with not only comets, but reconciliations and resolutions flying about all over the place. Plus the sexual tension and ultimate attraction between the almost post-mortal Dodge and the hyper-kinetic Penny seems really forced and would occur only in a film like this.

Plus, there are riots, wild and unruly behavior, guiltless sex and debauchery, but no mention of God, heaven, prayer, meditation, reflection or hedging of bets — just in case there IS an afterlife and this existence DOES have validity and consequence.

The first 30 minutes of "Seeking a Friend For the End of the World" are definitely the best, as the audience is introduced to the plot and a deadpan Carrell is still dedicated (and stupid) enough to actually care about his job.

His performance, however, seems stuck in second gear and when he needs to be animated and emotional, he barely rises to the occasion. Penny, on the other hand, is so frantic at times, she stops just short of irritating. Her character, for the most part, is either blubbering or in near hysterics, and can get quite annoying, at times.

And while the predicament of the two leads is hardly interesting enough to spent 94 minutes watching this film, the supporting cast (and the humor garnered from them) does its best to make up for it, which it just manages to do.

Barely.




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