Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World Review
As a giant asteroid hurtles towards earth, mankind struggles with the certain knowledge that the world will end in 3 weeks. Abandoned by his wife, a middle aged man strikes up an unlikely friendship with his pretty young neighbour and the two new friends set out on a road trip in search of the lost love of his life.
Steve Carell is well practised at giving muted but likeable performances. If you prefer the sullen charms of his Little Miss Sunshine performance to the brash comedy of his Anchorman style morons, then this is another one for you.
Steve Carell’s placid smile and a magnificently well-chosen soundtrack of whimsical tunes keep the film from ever sliding too far into morbid despair and nihilism. Splashes of absurd humour, a cute dog and classic soft rock music on a perfectly sunny day give the film an oddly upbeat tone.
It won’t be for everyone’s taste but the film makes a brave choice to stare down the barrel o mankind’s impending demise and celebrate the fleeting beauty of joy and love even in the face of oblivion.
Keira Knightley and Steve Carell are undoubtedly an unexpected pairing, but surprisingly there are actual sparks of chemistry between them. Carell’s blank expression proves an effective foil for Knightley’s overly emotive hysterics.
There’s an obvious reason why the genre of apocalyptic Romantic comedy isn’t too common. It’s difficult to bring ourselves to emotionally invest in the lives and loves of characters doomed from the first moment we meet them.
The film tries to exploit the pressing urgency of the world’s end to force its characters and audiences to examine what really counts and what true love means. But not everyone will be able to distract themselves so easily from the grim fate that awaits, or appreciate the challenge to do so.
The film’s core subject matter will alienate audiences who turn to romantic comedies precisely because they want to escape the pressures of dealing with life’s daily cares and concerns for a few hours.
Keira Knightley also has a habit of dividing opinions. Some will find her performance earnestly emotive and charming, others will see it as yet another display of irritating histrionics and unnecessary crying. Your own opinion about her acting merits will have a huge impact on how successfully the film leaves you entertained and hopeful.
The Ugly Truth:
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is unusual and unexpected I a lot of ways. It’s less bleak and sullen than most would have predicted but far from the usual dose of feel good satisfaction that an average Rom-com audience will crave and long for.