Film Review: ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ with Steve Carell Can’t Find Honest Emotion

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CHICAGO – Lorene Scafaria’s “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is a manipulative mess that’s only slightly redeemed by yet-another engaging performance from one of the best actresses of her generation. Even the always-great Keira Knightley can’t hold back the deluge of clichés and false characters that drag this piece down into the kind of dreck that would be universally derided if it just had the name “Nicholas Sparks Presents” in front of it. At least those films don’t put up false hipster pretenses of being something other than they are. By the end, I was just seeking an honest emotion. Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Right from the first scene in Scafaria’s film, the world is going to go boom a la “Melancholia” or “Armageddon” (one of the few times you’ll hear those two movies compared in a sentence). We learn that the last attempt to stop the impending deep impact didn’t work out and so now it’s time to count off the hours until nobody feels fine any more. While Dodge (Steve Carell) watches his wife run panicked into a park never to be seen again, he takes the news with a bit more subdued resignation. He goes to work, continues to chit-chat with his cleaning lady, and even meets a cute girl next door, the beautiful Penny (Keira Knightley).

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” in our reviews section.

While Dodge and Penny have been neighbors for years, the two have barely interacted (yes, this is another one of those Hollywood tales in which impending doom allows us to see what was in front of us all along…if you’re lost in love, all you need to do is knock on your neighbor’s door…good luck with that). Penny does have a creepy boyfriend (Adam Brody), the kind of hipster douche who only exists in the movies as no one in the real world would be quite so self-obsessed as the Earth was coming to an end unless it fit a plot. A riot pushes Penny & Dodge toward a wacky road trip of self-discovery as the two trek to a location where the latter thinks there may be a plane for the former to get back across the pond to see her family one last time.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” review.

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” stars Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Adam Brody, Connie Britton, Rob Corddry, Melanie Lynskey, Patton Oswalt, T.J. Miller, Gillian Jacobs, Derek Luke, and Martin Sheen. It was written and directed by Lorene Scafaria. It opens on June 22, 2012.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Photo credit: Focus Features

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