Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

seeking a friend for the end of the worldSteve Carrell and Keira Knightley star in this apocalyptic romance… Is that a new sub-genre? I wasn’t sure how to classify this one which is a good thing now that I think about it. Regardless, the film was interesting and a bit of a refreshing departure from the usual fare we see from films that have romantic tones to them within a dramatic package.

Carrell and Knightley’s characters and the rest of the world have just found out that there is a comet on it’s way to earth that’s basically going to kill everyone. They’ve already taken a stab at destroying the thing “Armageddon” style but to no luck so the planet is basically doomed. Carrell’s wife decides she isn’t into her marriage all of a sudden so she bails leaving his character heartbroken as well as freaked out that he’s going to die soon. After some soul searching he decides to look up a lost love from his past to spend his last days with…

Eventually, he crosses paths with the free-spirited Knightley who ends up on embarking on the journey with him with the hope she’ll eventually be able to reach her family with his help. Along the course of their journey, they end up defend themselves from rioters, partying with drugged out hippies, reuniting with family, and finding love again.

I liked this movie. The script managed to feel original although similar themes have been explored before. The pacing is a little slow at times and Carrell’s character is written fairly monochromatically for the first 2/3rds of the film which makes him a bit drab to watch here and there. Think about his character from the 40 year old virigin but without the dick jokes, this guy isn’t too far removed from that. Luckily there’s a bit of an arc for him closer to the end that helps liven things up as does Knightley who is full of life and lightens the tone with her presence.

The ending is great! *SPOILER ALERT – They don’t let you off the hook at the finale by the way, the film is taken all the way to the end with the comet which was surprising. It was nice to see a film maintain it’s thematic integrity even though it may not be the happiest notion with regard to where the movie is leading everyone. Overall, I thought the film ended on a bittersweet, challenging note that I found very satisfying.

reviewed by Sean McKnight