Film review: Seeking A Friend... (15)


Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World
(15) 101mins

In this quirky romantic comedy set against the apocalypse, true love is dented by an asteroid and a surfeit of sentimentality.

Cynic in me says: Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, it'll never last. But there's no testing the theory because an asteroid is about to destroy the earth and significantly curtail their game-time.

A downer in most circumstances - although doomsday does put the middle-aged sad-sack and the flighty Brit in each other's path to kick-start this screwball romance.

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is written and directed by Lorene Scafaria. She has created a tender and amusing but flawed footnote to the current tendency towards apocalyptic gloom, although laced with some nicely dark comic set pieces.

It sees downbeat dumpee Carell as Dodge (by name and nature) who, while the world engages in fin-de-terre hedonism, still mans the office phone.

However, just before the Great Release, he hears from a former love and decides to hit the road to track down whether his story could have been any different.

In tow is open-book hippy chick Penny (Knightley) who is trying to find a way back to Blighty for the closing curtain but, instead, stumbles into a touching May-to-September romance with the melancholic misfit.

The road movie sees them encounter a bevy of oddballs (Patton Oswalt, William Petersen) turning the end of days to their own advantage but the initial comic juxtaposition of sharp practice and daisy pushing soon succumbs to a glut of lazy sentimentality.

By the end, swift oblivion by a mighty rock appears more merciful than death by treacle but the two leads do manage to bring charm and tenderness to their brief encounter.