Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Bill Arceneaux (Four Beers)
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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What would you do knowing that the world would end in a few weeks? Go to church? Get laid? Call those parents you rarely talk to?

Believe it or not, I’d probably just do what I always do; watch movies. Sure, spending time with family and friends would be on my list, but the idea of a world without movies is just too depressing for me – I’m gonna get my fill while I still can, dammit! Maybe I’ll even try to preserve some for future audiences; like Citizen Kane and Men at Work.

The future will thank me.

Or maybe I’d just do what Steve Carell does. In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Steve plays an insurance salesman (a job which REALLY has no meaning after the revelation of the end of the world) whose wife has just left him after the announcement is made that mankind’s last effort to stop an asteroid from hitting Earth has failed. His coworkers mope, his friends party hard and strangers begin to riot, but he remains uneasily calm. Escaping the chaos with a plucky neighbor (Keira Knightley), he goes on a road trip to find his old high school flame, and make some of those important life decisions he kept putting off until the last minute (literally).

A Toast

If the world really were about to end, I’d want to be around someone like Steve Carell. He has such a calming and even reassuring presence that even a worry wart like me would relax. That, and he’s pretty funny.

He and Keira Knightley – who I felt before watching this might’ve been miscast – share an onscreen relationship that is very sweet and lovely for the time given. If the world were to end, I’d also want to be around her.

A face to die with.

Beer Two

I thought this was going to be a comedy with a bit of drama. Instead, it was a drama with a bit of comedy. The first part is definitely funny, but at some point early in the middle, the movie begins to ooze sap. I mean, really thick sap. Sure, the world is ending, and with that comes a lot of amends making, hugs and crying, but for a story that started off with a creatively spun (and even realistically performed) premise, to dive into tearjerker territory (adults were crying in the rows behind me) is just really disappointing.

Beer Three

I mentioned above the adults in the theater with me were crying. I was the youngest person in the room. It was awkward enough to deserve a beer of its own.

Beer Four

In a few past reviews, I included a section where I SPOIL the story a bit. If you don’t mind, I’d like to continue that trend:

>>>>>>>>>>SPOILERS<<<<<<<<<<

The movie reaches its climax when Steve and Keira, after finding romance with one another, find Steve’s dad, a pilot. Steve puts a sleeping Keira in the plane, and sends her off to be with her family abroad.

Steve returns to his apartment, and waits for the world to end. He goes to Keira’s apartment, and spends his last night listening to her record collection. This is where the movie SHOULD’VE ended.

Keira comes rushing in, explaining that she forced Steve’s dad to turn back. The couple then ride out the apocalypse by laying on a bed, staring in to each other’s eyes. The movie then ends with Keira’s smiling face dissolving into (I’m not kidding) white light…

>>>>>>>>>>END SPOILERS<<<<<<<<<<

Nothing that Bruce Willis can’t handle.

Verdict


This could’ve been so much better. Instead of being a smart adult comedy with some dramatic weight, it went for a Kleenex tissue to the face approach, and ended up just being blah. Though, your older relatives might like it, so…

 

Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: in honor of the first 30 minutes.

Take a Drink: whenever someone does something they wouldn’t have if the world wasn’t ending

Take a Drink: if you’re a survivalist, and actually expect to survive an asteroid.

Do a Shot: if you disagree with me that Men at Work shouldn’t be preserved for future humans – YOU ARE WRONG!

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

2 comments

  1. I loved this film, it completely took me by surprise and I’m glad it ended the way it did, I felt some of the best script was in that closing scene.

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