Seeking a Friend for the End of the World movie review

Posted on 19 July 2012
By Camilla McNatty
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With the premise of a giant asteroid heading towards Earth, the unlikely pairing of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley sees Seeking a Friend for the End of the World disappoint when it comes to our high expectations of the Anchorman heavyweight.

Steve Carell adopts the persona of downtrodden insurance man Dodge, who is at a loss of how to react to his impending doom. A giant asteroid which goes by the name of Matilda sees civilisation spiralling into despair, with the erratic news broadcasts as the only source of information.

The rapid depature of Dodge’s horror stricken wife leaves him alone and desperate within this new environment, seeking solace in his group of friends who have taken to having heroin parties and mass orgies in an attempt to fulfil every fleeting experience.

Cue Keira Knightley who as British girl Penny becomes that stereo-typically ‘indie’ and forcefully impulsive girl next door, her irritating aloofness leaves her eccentricity falling flat throughout the movie.

Knightley leaves you wishing the asteroid would hit Earth with a hurry, her annoyingness gives her the persona of a disgruntled teenager and her insistance to carry her beloved vinyls clutched to her chest at every opportunity undermines any witty moments Carell brings to the table.

The plot revolves around Penny seeking to get back to England within the three weeks that are left, and Dodge finally pursuing his lost love, high school sweetheart Olivia. An impending riot forces both to leave the city together and much to the dismay of the audience, their friendship turns into a cringeworthy relationship which is wholly unbelievable.

As the relationship develops Carell turns into a creepy character who is old enough to be Knightley’s father and the plot falls apart as they grow closer together. A few funnier moments fail to justify this boring relationship and the film feels as though it is used to prove Carell’s ability reaches further than his comedic charms – unfortunately, any attempts to do so fail.

The score of the movie is composed by Rob Simonsen, famed for the soundtrack for 500 days of summer, worked well throughout, with classics from The Beach Boys and The Walker Brothers. Coupled with the fleeting appearance of Adam Brody as Penny’s ex-boyfriend and Martin Sheen as Carell’s father, the story is helped a little with its progression.

The final moments prove heart-warming and do slightly redeem the pair as a romantic couple, but the urgency faced within the last seconds together is the most believable aspect of the movie, contrasting with a lacklustre hour and a half adventure.