Filmwerk strikes again and I was asked to review Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World as it was released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 5th November. You can find my review on Filmwerk here which is where this appeared first and in full.
I bloody love a rom-com; I’m pretty much the queen of them. Look through my DVD collection and that’s pretty much all you’ll find. I’m not even a little bit embarrassed by this fact either. I’m a girly girl when it comes to the films I want to watch regularly and romantic comedies tick all the boxes. So when I was presented with this one I thought maybe the added peril of the apocalypse might make Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World a boyfriend friendly one and I wasn’t wrong. Once I mentioned that there was a meteor heading to obliterate the earth he was more than keen to watch, although I think he was expecting it to be a little more Deep Impact and a little less, well, crappy.
The basic premise is that Dodge, played by Steve Carell, is a loser loner whose wife has left him in apocalyptic panic. He reluctantly makes friends with his kooky, bohemian English neighbour, Penny (Keira Knightley) after she dumps her boyfriend and hides, crying on the fire escape outside his kitchen window. This unconventional friendship blossoms and during some gnarly rioting outside their apartment block they escape together. Queue the road trip portion of the film. The pair are keen to be back in the arms of their loved ones when the curtain is finally called. Dodge is determined to find his long lost love and Penny is trying to get back to her family in England despite missing the last flights. So far, so predictable, no? It doesn’t get any better from here! Their road trip conversations lead the pair to fall in love… blah, blah, blah… the end. Yeah, I know, most rom-coms are fairly predictable in their delivery but I desperately wanted this to be different just somehow. I don’t even think it is the predictability that annoyed me but the laziness of it all.
I know we’re meant to be moved by the big finale; but the sight of these two together in a romantic was is so creepy, I found myself willing the asteroid to hit quicker! What made it even weirder was that Dodge makes a pretty big deal, near the beginning of their journey, about how young she is compared to him.
I really like Steve Carell but just couldn’t warm to him in this film at all. Previously, I thought it was him as an actor that I liked and put him anything and I’ll love him (like I do with Ryan Reynolds, for totally different reasons) but it quickly dawned on me that without a decent script I just find him a bit sad. Maybe I’m confusing Carell and his character and if that’s the case he’s done a cracking job but it just highlights how much this film lacks. I’ve never been a fan of Knightley; I always thought she came from the Johansson, Fox, Jolie school of acting, providing the industry with a raft of big name, female stars that are all style and no substance. She changed my mind a little bit in this though and if she carries on being less obnoxious in following movies, I will freely admit that she’s won me over.
I wanted this film to be a lot better than it really was and it definitely could do with more Adam Brody in… but then again what couldn’t?!
Have you seen this film? What did you think?