- Steve Carrell
- False Advertising
- Unanswered Questions
Producers: Steve Golin, Joy Gorman, Mark Roybal, Steven M. Rales
Actors: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley
Writer: Lorene Scafaria
Editing: Zene Baker
Music: Jonathan Sadoff, Rob Simonsen
Cinematography: Tim Orr
Whenever a film with Steve Carell is released I usually make an effort to go see it. To me, Carell is one of the funniest actors in Hollywood and I have enjoyed most everything he has been in. The 55% score Seeking a Friend for the End of the World received on Rotten Tomatoes kept me from seeing the film in theaters. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t see the movie when it was first released. While I was expecting an apocalyptic comedy in the style of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I was instead “treated” to the apocalyptic disappointment of Dan in Real Life.
A seventy-mile-wide asteroid named Matilda is on a collision course towards Earth and the last ditch effort to destroy it has failed. In three weeks the world will come to an absolute end. Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell) finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
While I’ve compared Seeking a Friend for the End of the World to Dan in Real Life, Steve Carrell does shine in the film. His portrayal of the down-in-the-dumps Dodge Petersen is not overplayed and really stands out against the stale acting from the rest of the cast. In my opinion, Carrell is a much better comedic actor than a serious actor. But he gives a valiant effort in the film and I commend him for that.
Have you ever noticed that when Robin Williams is in a comedy he is clean shaven, but when he is in a more dramatic film he has some sort of facial hair? The thing is, when a Robin Williams film is advertised as a comedy – it’s a comedy. Unfortunately, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World doesn’t follow that rule. The film was marketed as a “funny and clever” film when it should have been called a “heartbreaking and depressing” film. Writer and director Lorene Scafaria’s attempt to add comedy into the film failed horribly and all we were left with were a couple of one-liners and a few throw-away gags in an otherwise dreary film.
This section contains SPOILERS!
Throughout the film there were a fair amount of things that happened that weren’t fully explained. I feel like we were just supposed to accept what happens without any clarification. When two characters are talking about hit men, one of them gets shot in the throat and we see a black car with tinted windows drive off. We’re just supposed to assume that the exact same hit men the characters were talking about were in that car. How did the hit men know the character was going to be in that specific spot at that specific time? It couldn’t have been pre-planned; the characters were making a stop that they hadn’t anticipated.
Also, a note that Dodge receives from an old love interest plays a pivotal role in the plot. The whole movie is about Dodge taking a road trip to reunite with her. But when he gets to his high school sweetheart’s house, all he does is leave her a note in return. When asked about what he said in the note, Dodge wouldn’t say. All the audience can do is assume. Kind of like asking yourself “What the hell is in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?”
Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Buy It, Rent It, Skip It
While the film has it’s moments, it’s not one that you need to drop everything and go see. There are plenty of other apocalyptic comedy films out there that make Seeking a Friend for the End of the World a quickly forgettable film.
‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ Trailer