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Dan's Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

There are doomed relationships, and there are REALLY DOOMED relationships.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Focus Features)

Rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence.

Starring Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, William Petersen, Melanie Lynskey, Adam Brody, Derek Luke, Connie Britton, Patton Oswalt, Rob Corddry, Melinda Dillon, Rob Huebel, Gillian Jacobs, T.J. Miller, Amy Schumer, Jim O'Heir.

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria.

GRADE: B+

REVIEW:


We're all doomed, so why not live it up? Then again why not make the best of it? That's the idea behind the new comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.

Carell plays Dodge, a sad-sack insurance salesman whose wife leaves him the very second the news breaks that a gigantic asteroid is headed to Earth within three weeks that will wipe out the entire population.

Dodge meets up with his English neighbor Penny (Knightley) as she breaks up with her boyfriend, and the two strike up a contemplative friendship. Dodge's friends (played by Rob Courdry, Patton Oswalt, Connie Britton) take a more hedonistic approach to the end of the world, partaking in every vice imaginable, including drugs, sex, and contributing to the delinquency of their kids.

When riots begin to take over New York City, Dodge and Penny take off to chase their final dreams. Dodge hopes to meet up with the lost love of his youth, while Penny tries to find a way back to England and see her family once more before the Apocalypse. The pair makes a vow: Dodge will get Penny to a man he knows who owns a small plane while Penny vows to help find Dodge find his lost love.

Along the way, Dodge and Penny meet up with a desperate trucker (William Petersen) and one of Penny's former boyfriends who happens to own a bunker full of supplies, guns, ammunition and video games, intending to beat the odds and survive.

By the time the pair reaches their respective goals, their relationship deepens and they must decide whether to continue on with their plans or make the most of the time they have left together.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is at times very funny with a clever script full of ironic humor. The dark theme is not lost in too much sentimentality or debauchery, leaving plenty of room for laughs and tears.

Carell is his usual comic self, teetering between zany observations and desperation, while Knightley proves she can be funny and charming. The supporting cast is equally funny, with notable performances by Adam Brody as Penny's narcissist boyfriend and T.J. Miller as a chipper "zany family restaurant" host.

One minor flaw in the movie's slow pace in the middle, but a perfect ending helps bring it to fine conclusion.

I don't want to give away too much, but...don't count on a sequel.


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