Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (15)

Film

Comedy drama

From left, Keira Knightley, Gillian Jacobs, T.J. Miller and Steve Carell in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jul 10 2012

A witty, clever, touching movie about the end of the world – who’d have thought it? Canadian filmmaker Don McKellar, that’s who, since his 1999 movie ‘Last Night’ ticked all the boxes left unchecked by this latest pre-apocalyptic twist on a tired date-movie formula.

The end is nigh, once more, when a massive asteroid heads towards us, and fortysomething, insurance-selling nerd Steve Carell is facing oblivion on his tod. His missus has done a runner, prompting the realisation that a long-gone old girlfriend was actually the love of his life. As law and order breaks down, he hits the road to find her, taking along his newly single neighbour Keira Knightley, a ditsy narcoleptic with a thing about old vinyl records. And yes, you did read that last phrase right.

Where Lars von Trier made striking use of a similar scenario to explore the skewed moral perspectives of the manic depressive in ‘Melancholia’, here the destruction of all life on Earth is just a plot device to get this oddest of couples into each other’s arms. Writer-director Lorene Scafaria brings nothing new to the on-screen depiction of the end of days – even if the movie’s best moment comes right at the beginning with a choice gag at the expense of classic rock radio. And when it comes to emotional resonance, the movie is totally unable to sell the ultra-reserved, charisma-free character played by Carell as a guy you’d want to spend your final hours with.

Meanwhile, hard-working Knightley is defeated by the contrivance of her role. Though it’s clear we’re meant to be moved by the big finale, the sight of these two together is so unsettling it’s hard not to start rooting for the asteroid.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jul 13, 2012

Duration:

101 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|10
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Nadine L

She fell in love with him because he got her on that plane.... HELLLLOOO act of love = very romantic

Stella

I loved this film. Thankfully I watched it before reading any reviews, which would definitely put me off. It's a charming film that's sad and heartwarming about two regular people (she's not narcoleptic she's hyper-something-or-other and finds it difficult to wake up once she's asleep). As I'm not very good at reviews so I'd suggest reading NME's. That guy seemed to get the film the way I did.

Stella

I loved this film. Thankfully I watched it before reading any reviews, which would definitely put me off. It's a charming film that's sad and heartwarming about two regular people (she's not narcoleptic she's hyper-something-or-other and finds it difficult to wake up once she's asleep). As I'm not very good at reviews so I'd suggest reading NME's. That guy seemed to get the film the way I did.

Alan

Well worth seeing - witty, thought-provoking and very original and unpredictable in places. Yes, it's a romcom, so suspend all disbelief about the availability of fuel and electricity at the end of the world. Steve Carell's character is supposed to be flat, so I had no problems there; neither did I have any problems believing that Keira Knightley's character would fall for him given the circumstances. And Keira looks GORGEOUS.

scrumpyjack

Liked it..........will I remember it with great fondness? No. Will I recall a pleasing afternoon's viewing...yup. 3 good jumps in it as well........VERY rare to make me flinch after 25 years of serious cinema going, so well done! 7/10

MikeT

In a year which hasn’t seen many great movies, this one also rates as so-so. Admittedly there are some good moments in this film, but in places it feels a little laboured. I’m not a big fan of KK and SC - both are generally okay and reasonably convincing - this just isn’t a good ‘vehicle’ for either of their talents. You’d be disappointed if you’d spent all week looking forward to see this on a Friday evening - and it’s definitely not a movie you’d stop to catch again if you knew the end of the world was three weeks hence. Two (generous) stars.

robert

Pretty fair comments, but it was quite a pleasant way to spend a wet weekend morning. Kiera gets better and better , Mr Carel is often miscast. Still, three stars, and I would recommend the film if you've nothing better to do.

K.Flyer

Archgate and Ian have pretty much nailed the review between them. First 20 mins is good, last 25 mins are better. All in all opportunity missed to make somrthing better with the plot. Knightley does a great job at carrying the movie along, but otherwise a fairly boring movie.

Ian

I agree with Archgate Knightly is very good. If you can bear to sit through 45 minutes of what is a very poor first half where apart from the excellent gag in the opening scene there is little of merit you will be rewarded. Carell really doesn't have either the looks nor the gravitas to carry of what evolves from being a poor movie with lots of people you really wouldn't want to meet or know into what is a very good second half as the film becomes a road trip to self discovery. It has an excellent soundtrack topped off by two beautiful scenes firstly to a Hollies track and then the piece de resistance of an epiphany to Scott Walker's greatest 3 minutes. Sit through the first hour and a quarter for a beautiful last 15 minutes. The first half deserves one star. The last 15 minutes 5. I will gives it 3 for a last quarter of an hour where if you don't cry at least once you must be emotionally dead.