Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Critic Consensus: Tender, charming, and well-acted, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is unfortunately hamstrung by jarring tonal shifts and a disappointing final act.
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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World stars Golden Globe Award winner Steve Carell and Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley and is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria. Set in a too-near future, the movie explores what people will do when humanity's last days are at hand. As the respective journeys of Dodge (Mr. Carell) and Penny (Ms. Knightley) converge, the two spark to each other and their outlooks - if not the world's - brighten. -- (C) Focus
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Critic Reviews for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
There's an entire world out there that's about to end, and this movie zooms in on the two least interesting people in it.
Carell possesses a knack for these comedic-tinged dramatic parts, subtly layering on the pathos while slyly exploiting his character's vulnerability.
A certain generosity of spirit is required here, but the performances are excellent and the central premise ... is a solid and amusing one.
Seeking a Friend mocks the modern rom-com formula, but its apocalyptic gags soon give way to a heart-breaking love story.
'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World' is funny, but also profound and tragic.
Audience Reviews for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
This film should not be sold as a comedy, for it is actually the most depressive movie of the year. The problem resides in the abrupt shifts in tone and in a disastrous attempt at being both a cute road movie and a profound love story, which leads to a horrible ending.
It's a movie about the end of the world that, for about two-thirds in the middle, seems to forget the world is ending... the stakes evaporate and we're left limping along with an annoyingly saccharine love story all the way to the to the inevitable, uninspired conclusion... presuming you make it that far... I did it so you wouldn't have to.
There is something decidedly cheeky and gut wrenchingly depressing about this film, but you wouldn't know it from the start or for much of this film. The characters are certainly depressed by the state of their abysmal lives, but much of the film is saturated in feel good energy, in-jokes, and oftentimes a bit of fun here and there. This mostly comes from leads Steve Carrell and Kierra Knightley who each play outside of their comfort zones. While Carrell has played the maudlin sad sack in faire such as "Dan in Real Life" and "Little Miss Sunshine," here there is reserved anger brewing right under the surface that doesn't get resolved, doesn't lead to a large argument, or declaration of independence as it were. As the world is ending, asteroid barreling towards the planet, he swallows the bile of his paltry life and decides to act on what he's always felt but never acted upon. Knightley in comparison plays a wanton and idle young woman who is trying to piece together the last good moments of her life while also road tripping with fellow neighbor Dodge (Carrell). Knightley has never been so likable and tame in a performance, and though the chemistry between the fifty year old Carrell and thirty year old Knightley is not as concrete as most critics oblige, there is an innocence and floundering gratitude for them being an item. Though its original premise seems just as good, there was an appreciation for taking the story slow and actually evolving their love for the audience to see plainly. Where a lot of people seem to get lost in a personal dilemma comes with the ending which doesn't leave any doubt in people's minds. I have heard it argued that it should end ten minutes before, and if it had, there would have been a beautiful impact left from not having that shoehorned resolution. Even at the end of the world not everything gets tied up in a neat little bow, and that message would have meant more. Leaving something like the end of the world open ended makes it so much easier to love.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Quotes
|Dodge:||You are my favorite thing.|
|Dodge:||I'm.... madly in love with you...|
|Penny:||I thought we could save each other.|
|Penny:||I won't steal anything if you don't rape me.|
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