Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) Poster

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Impending Doom With a Side of Honey
D_Burke21 June 2012
Everyone knows about the calm that happens before the storm. In "Seeking A Friend for the End of the World", what's amazing is just how long that calm lasts.

Throughout the first part of this film, you can't help but wonder, as you watch, how you would react if you heard nonchalant reports on radio and TV about a 70-mile wide asteroid heading for Earth and destroying life as we know it. Would you seek refuge in a fallout shelter and hope for the best, or say "To hell with it!" and do all the things you couldn't do when there was established order with a purpose?

Dodge (Steve Carell) seems to find a third option no one else even tries to consider: sitting calmly and maintaining his own order as virtually everyone else is participating in an orgy or a riot. While being calm works for him as a survival instinct, it also reflects his loneliness. The more people surrounding him, the lonelier he seems.

Very similar to Bill Murray's character in "Lost In Translation", Carell is great at conveying so much despite doing so little. It becomes all the more fascinating when he's the only character in the movie who does not throw caution into the wind. After all, would you be this calm if the world was going to end?

Keira Knightley is Penny, a vibrant but distraught British woman who lives in the same building as Dodge. She appears one night outside his window, and is frantically crying after her realization that she can't fly back home to Great Britain to see her family. Knightley serves as a great contrast to Carell in many ways, and she is a welcome presence in this movie. And I am SO glad the film didn't try to cover her sweet British accent.

The film evolves into a sort of road-trip movie when a riot ensues outside their apartment building, and Dodge persuades Penny to drive to Somerset, Delaware because he knows someone who owns an airplane. As it turns out, Dodge also had a high school girlfriend who wrote to him a few months earlier, before his wife left him.

Sounds like a familiar journey from another movie? Well, "Seeking A Friend For The End of the World" takes you in one direction you think you're going, and then often makes a sharp left when you least expect it. The movie is also funnier than the title suggests, has some startling moments I never saw coming nor expected, and keeps you watching for many reasons.

Is there a love story between Dodge and Penny? Like the recent "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" (2012), you find yourself unsure if the two main characters should fall in love, or if there is at least a little attraction, or if it really makes any difference.

There are other things you wonder while watching this movie. Most notably, is the world really going to end? Everyone in this movie seems to think so. While it's fascinating to see how different characters react to the news, you keep watching because you want to see if it really does. It can't be a dream or a delusion, can it?

It's great that in a summer season of action flicks and disaster films, there's one film that takes its time showing how ordinary people react to extraordinary things. There's an asteroid headed towards Earth, but there are no explosions, deaths, astronauts, superheroes, or even (surprisingly) camera shots of the sky in this movie whatsoever. Moviegoers who hated "Armageddon" (1998) will be relieved, I'm sure.

Besides Carell and Knightley, other fairly well-known actors show up so briefly, their appearances could practically be considered cameos. Still, every performance by everyone involved stays with you to the point where you probably pinpoint one character and say, "Yeah, I'd probably be THAT guy given the circumstances". As the doomsday clock counts down and the movie ends, you may find yourself reevaluating what you want the last image in your mind to be before it's all over.
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Beautiful. Left Me Speechless and Overwhelmed.
claymation824 March 2013
I do not even know where to begin, so I'm just going to head into this review full steam ahead.

I sat staring at my iO screen for 20 minutes trying to decide between watching this - which I hadn't really heard any review from - and Celeste & Jesse Forever. Instinctively, I went with this; I clicked Order and hoped for the best.

This was by far the most moving film I have ever seen. To give you a quick synopsis, our protagonist, Dodge, teams up with the overly optimistic and happy-go-lucky Penny, a fellow apartment complex resident, to travel to his high school sweetheart's house to tie loose ends before the world comes to an apocalyptic close.

Steve Carell truly nailed his performance. The audience watches his random heartbreak, internal conflict, and journey to love. Other reviewers have stated the film was "dull" and "weak" - but those reviewers also admit to fast forwarding and getting up. If they were smart, they would've waited, because that is all part of the film's magic. As a viewer, I felt like in the first 15 minutes I was at a standstill. I felt like I didn't even know what I was watching, almost uncomfortable. I can now say that was done intentionally. How would we respond to hearing about the world, that we live in, ending in our near future? With dullness, stillness, and discomfort. The weakness is really a success on behalf of the filmmakers; the viewer is a character in this madness. Steve Carell strengthens this to new extremes.

Keira Knightley is stunning. In physicality, but more importantly, in her character, Penny. I was instantly in love with this free willed, uppity character who says no to nothing but stands for everything good in this world: risk, love, spontaneity. Her mixed conflict juggling guilt, confusion, and optimism is portrayed impeccably through Keira's teary-eyed, heartfelt performance is truly astonishing; her ability to make the viewer feel as if they know her and relate to her is so beautiful and overwhelming. Again, the filmmakers did a wonderful job making the viewer feel as in love with her as other characters in the story are.

With these two spot-on, PERFECTLY cast performances, and a phenomenal vintage soundtrack to top it all off, I was left crying multiple times. I kid you not, I am a 16 year old male, cries at basically nothing, and sobbed the last ten minutes of the movie and countless times throughout. I highly recommend this to anyone who understands the underlying beauty in our hectic lives, and appreciates the time to take a step back and realize that life is short - and we are the lucky ones. Love carries us through life, and it is in that state-of-being where we are most in touch with humanity.

Moved. Touched. Overwhelmed. I will never forget watching this movie for the first time.

What would you do with the rest of your life if you had limited time left? After seeing this, I will make every second count.
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Watch this before it's too late
SteveMierzejewski7 October 2012
It's rare that I rate a movie this highly. No doubt many will disagree with this rating and I admit to having some doubts myself. I had to ignore the fact that Keira Knightly was miscast in the role of Dodge's (Steve Carell) friend, Penny. As I've mentioned in other reviews, she always seems to be overacting. This may be a personal thing as I'm sure others are enthralled by her work. Martin Sheen is not convincing as Dodge's father. The plot has some problematic moments.

These negatives aside, this is a movie driven by a compelling idea: What would you do if you had only three weeks to live? Well, some resort to taking drugs, others to sex, and others to suicide. Some persevere with dignity to the end. The absurdity of life and the value of death is highlighted, as strange as this may sound. Death puts life into its proper perspective. On the surface, this film has many elements of a romantic comedy and some may dismiss it as such. But look past the surface of this film and you will begin to appreciate it much more.

Of course, we are all facing the end of our own worlds, maybe not in three weeks or en masse, as is portrayed here, but through our individual mortality. Would you continue to work out, visit your dentist, or mow the lawn if you knew it was all soon coming to an end? Basically, the film looks at what in life is truly important. What is worth living for? Who would you want to spend those last moments with and why aren't you spending time with them now? Because this movie brings such existential topics into focus, I think it deserves an above average rating. Don't think of this as a grim, realistic look at life. There is a good deal of humor here. You'll have a few laughs, which, I believe, help to highlight the film's more serious elements.

My opinion of Steve Carrell has been on the rise ever since he starred in Dan in Real Life. In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, he plays the role of a down and out loser to perfection.

In short, if you are seeking a movie to watch with a friend, this should be your choice. You'll have much to discuss afterwards. It may even make you re-evaluate what you have accepted as being important. Time is, after all, running out.
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A quirky and enjoyable picture
dbinks-569-93415930 December 2012
Watching an American picture about the end of the world and finding that there is no concentration on things blowing up and exploding came as a welcome relief if not a surprise.

This film is a little gem of a black comedy with some drama and romanticism thrown in.

I only recognised two or three faces - but everyone of the players is good and the two leads are superb. The male lead is of a character not usually associated with the romantic and this brings out more of the warmth.

Quirky, offbeat, lovable, zany and intelligent are some of the words I would use to describe this entertainment - and entertain it certainly does.

If this picture comes this way - grab it, you will love it.
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Brace yourself for impact...
Paul Magne Haakonsen13 October 2012
Actually I had expected this to be somewhat more of a comedy, but it turned out to be a much better experience than just another average comedy. "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" turned out to be a very beautiful and emotional movie, with just a pinch of great comedy added to spice it up.

The story is about the end of days approaching as an asteroid is bound for Earth, and will destroy the planet upon impact. Dodge (played by Steve Carell) finds himself abandoned by his wife upon this news and tries to go on with his life for the last 21 days before the world comes to end. He gets acquainted with a downstairs neighbor, Penny (played by Keira Knightley) whom he haven't talked with for the past 3 years of living in the same apartment building. These two very different spirits end up on a road trip together to get Dodge to his high school girlfriend and get Penny aboard an airplane for Great Britain. Their journey proves to be more than life changing.

The storyline for "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" was really great, and bizarre wonderful in a weird way. There is this whole gloomy downtrodden feel to it as people are trying to cope with coming to terms with life ending within 3 weeks. But at the same time, there is such a strong emotional journey taking place as we follow Dodge and Penny on their path to their destinations. The movie is driven by great characters and by superb acting. There is just the right amount of absurd and dark comedy to this movie that helps build up the right atmosphere.

I was genuinely surprised by this movie. I knew that it wouldn't be a horrible movie, because Steve Carell usually delivers great performances and do good comedy. But his deliverance in this movie was just phenomenal. He was so well-cast for this movie. As was Keira Knightley, and their chemistry on the screen was just sizzling.

The movie also boasts some rather great cameo appearances, all of whom really helped adding to the movie, by actors and actresses such as Rob Corddry, Patton Oswalt, William Petersen and, of course, Martin Sheen.

"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" is a definite to-watch-movie for any movie aficionado, because it is very beautiful and moving in many ways. I am really happy that I sat down to watch this movie. And to top it off, this is the type of movie that leaves you with a parting gift, something to think about; what would you do if you only had 21 days left before the world ended?

Oh, and as a final note, if you are prone to tear in beautiful movies, you might keep a tissue at hand for the ending of this movie. Just a word of advice.
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Seeking a Film for the End of the Week?
Stephanie Taylor28 June 2012
We've seen dramatic and extreme post-apocalyptic thrillers almost as many times as we've survived the Rapture, and it is hard to imagine that anyone can interpret the theme in a way that would make a movie more enjoyable. However, none of the previous films starred Steve Carrell or stayed completely in the pre-apocalyptic world. As it turns out, these two facts make a huge difference.

Dodge (Carrell) learns that nothing can be done to prevent the imminent destruction of the world while in the car with his wife, Linda (Nancy Carrell, formerly Nancy Walls and hilarious without saying a word). Linda then literally runs away, and so begins the story of Dodge's terrible misfortune. He is a modern-day adult version of Charlie Brown – likable, but not extraordinary in any sense except for his ability to attract sadness. Seeking then shows how everyone else is coping with the news, and Dodge doesn't seem very interested in surfing, sex, or suicide, so he just meanders through the madness sipping his cough syrup. He probably would have done that for the entire three weeks left of his life were it not for a his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley), a flighty girl trying to get a flight back to her family in England. The two escape a riot (and Penny's loser boyfriend, perfectly played by Adam Brody) and set out on an adventure so that Dodge can say goodbye to his high school sweetheart and Penny can get to England by way of Dodge's friend who owns a plane.

The commercials portray this film as more of a comedy, and it is delightfully funny in some spots, but this film is far more emotionally and intellectually stimulating than it is amusing. I remember thinking at the end of 2005's War of the Worlds, "I wish they had spent more time focusing on humanity." The human experience of facing the end of life is so complex and so unique to every individual, and Director Loren Scafaria succeeds in showing the despair, decadence, and delusions that people would definitely be wrapped up in were this to occur in real life.

Carrell is brilliant as usual with his effortless self-effacing humor. He seems to have worked on his deadpan skills as his funniest moments include reacting to crazy events with a blank stare or monotone comment. Knightley manages to be an effervescent and bubbly realist without being annoying, which makes Penny a completely plausible running buddy for Dodge, who can't take much more agitation. These two stars have a chemistry that allows Dodge to come out of his shell and live the last days of his life the way he wished he had lived all along. A few people live in less inspiring ways to awesome comedic effect. Elsa, Dodge's housekeeper, still diligently comes to clean his house and even instructs him to get more "Windows" while shaking a nearly empty bottle of glass cleaner. Warren (fellow Daily Show alum Rob Corddry) celebrates the end of responsibility by boozing it up and sharing his drinks freely, even with little kids. These scenes, however, are merely distractions from how Dodge and Penny learn more than they ever imagined about life and the world simply because it is all coming to an end. Despite the hokey-ness, I must admit that I got teary-eyed as the characters realized what matters most.

Focus Features does a great job of producing equally thought-provoking and heartstring-pulling films and Seeking is no exception. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and with any luck, you'll leave the theater thankful that you most likely have more than three weeks to make the most of your life.
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So this is how it ends
dtucker8623 June 2012
Armageddon, doomsday, the final apocalypse. Ever since the beginning of time man has wondered how it will all end. Another great flood, a nuclear war or in this case an asteroid. Filmmakers have always done their best to exploit this basic fear we have of the termination of our existence in movies like Fail Safe, On The Beach and The Day After. I put this film right up there with them because of the awesome performances of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as our hero and heroine who we know are doomed from the start. I have always admired Carell as a comic (Get Smart, Date Night). However, he proves here that he can handle drama with the rest of them as does Knightley. They both have very powerful monologues in this film where they talk of their lonely lives. Its so ironic that they both find joy and love in life when they are on the very edge of death.
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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - A Review by Brandon Krzysztof
xThe_Fury25 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Seeking a Friend of the End of the World" is an end of the world drama that really makes you think about what you would do if you had only a few weeks to live. With strong dialogue, likable characters, and clever jokes, this film shows you that there can be good things to come out of a bad situation. The movie begins with Dodge (Steve Carell) sitting in his car and hearing that the mission to save mankind has failed and in approximately three weeks the 70 mile wide asteroid is going to hit Earth. Upon this news Dodge's wife leaves him and Dodge considers what he is going to do with his final days of his life and the past regrets he has. He soon meets Penny (Keira Knightley) and they decide to embark on adventure that hopefully lead Dodge to find a girl from his past and for Penny to see her family before the their time runs out. This movie was well made. The writers did a great job with mixing comedy in a movie that has a depressing feel to it. There were good jokes throughout the movie, mostly sarcasm but well planned. The pace of this movie was slow, but it necessarily isn't a bad thing. There were really good dialogue scenes where Dodge and Penny have conversations about themselves and their pasts and it really make the audience care about these characters. That being said, the characters were developed well and Steve Carell and Keira Knightley's performances were great as well as their chemistry. I really enjoyed this movie. I really prefer Steve Carell in these types of these dramatic movies mixed with light comedy like Dan in Real Life and Little Miss Sunshine. This movie isn't a film that will dominate the box offices but it is one of the better movies of 2012 and I highly recommend this movie. 4 out of 5.
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The movie has heart and elicited real emotion from me.
DUKEJBM23 June 2012
There really isn't one aspect of the actual events of this story that isn't some kind of spoiler, the less known the better. It's better to watch this thing completely fresh. That's how I saw it and it made the experience far better it would seem. Without getting in to detail, the story itself starts off bizarre and it seems like they simply picked the wrong subject to try and make a dramedy about. Yet, getting to know and sympathize with Carell's character is what flat out makes the film. Keira Knightley is wonderful and this is probably the best thing I've ever seen her do.

The overall tone fights itself a LOT as it jumps from the morose to the absurd to events that just aren't logical. Still, since no one has faced the end of the world, what exactly is logical? They did respectfully touch on the aspect of faith but it struck me more that they went out of their way to avoid the subject for the most part. To me, that's playing it way too safe. They did that a lot with many subjects that you would expect to come up in an end of days film. Overall, the movie has heart and elicited real emotion from me.
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The meaning of life
cristian costea11 October 2012
I found seeking a friend to be an excellent movie though I didn't expect much after reading the storyline. The truth is I love Keira and maybe this is why I enjoy her every movie. The movie develops brilliantly as the main characters find their true love. We are all trying to find love and probably this is the genuine meaning of life itself. Also, I found Steve's performance really good as he managed to balance Keira's childish character and put a serious mark on the whole apocalyptic idea (though he is well-known for being a buffoon in his movies). The ending left me in tears, but maybe that's just me being silly. I would certainly recommend it ! One for the romantics !
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(Spoiler) A Wonderful Movie, of the Love It or Hate It Type Warning: Spoilers
'Seeking A Friend For the end of the World' is one of those movies that people are going to love or hate, as you can already see from the division on Metacritic. I fall into the first camp, loving it, so I'd better say something in its defense.

Let me get the spoiler out of the way first. The picture does not cheat on its premise. There is no miracle salvation for the earth at the end. The promised apocalypse actually occurs.

But what occurs in the movie is a unique, and absolutely devastating love story. Despite the starkness of the background, the relationship of the two characters is developed with remarkable subtlety over the first two thirds of the movie. Its progress takes place in the background of the picture, while the foreground is given over to a display of the various all too human reactions to the impending doom - from absolutely inauthentic suburban hedonism, desperate lawlessness, suicide, clinging to the last vestiges of normalcy, grim survivalism. Some of this is very funny, some touching.

Steve Carrell's character Dodge doesn't exactly know what he wants, but he knows full well what he doesn't want - none of the above. His quiet refusal to acquiesce to any of this makes him instantly likable. He adopts an abandoned dog because he's too decent not to, and takes up with Penny (Keira Knightley) almost by chance. They meet cute, in a way, but with none of the emotional affectation of bad rom coms - neither angry nor incandescent - 'like at first sight', if you will. They leave the city together, not for any large motive, but because it seems like the best idea available.

But in one superbly dialogued scene after another, the relationship takes on depth, then overwhelming substance, It is only in the last third of the movie that it reveals itself to be a full fledged love story, that the bonding of these two is what the movie is all about in the first place.

The last scenes take place at the last hours of the earth. The girl is committed, but scared. But the man, Dodge, is so happy to have finally found someone with whom he connects completely that he really doesn't care that the whole world is ending. Carrell, whose performance is Oscarworthy (though of course it will go unnoticed) conveys this perfectly.

A marvelous movie.
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Deserved better at the Box Office
mrrox3 August 2012
I totally enjoyed this movie. I only wish it could have been released at a better time(if that's possible) or re-released at a slower time. It seems there are far too many movies released these days. Most people only want to see action movies. I'll take this movie over Batman, Spiderman and others any day. What would you do if the end of the world was going to happen in twenty-one days? Like I said in the subject line, it deserved better at the box office. I adore Kiera Knightley, she is a doll. Her and Steve do a wonderful job in this movie. I will be buying it on DVD and watch it many times over. A great movie in my opinion. Enjoy!!!
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Is Showing the World's End Really Necessary?
Chris_Pandolfi22 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" is nowhere near as funny as it has been made to seem, which actually works in its favor. The film is at its best when it veers away from the broad, strained humor prominently featured in the ads, none of which make it clear that only about a third of the final product is being represented. What you're not being shown is an intelligent and surprisingly moving story of two emotionally damaged people and the healing they receive by being in each other's lives. Yes, it's set against the backdrop of an asteroid's impending collision with Earth, but that doesn't mean that the film is depressing or nihilistic. If anything, it reaffirms the value of life and instills the belief that the simple act of being kind and making someone happy gives us meaning.

Most of the more overt jokes are reserved for the opening segments, the weakest the film has to offer. During the course of its rather shaky start, we see a man encouraging a four- or five-year-old girl to chug down a martini, Keira Knightley and Adam Brody having a very non- communicative relationship argument as they run away from a rioting mob, a trucker mistaking Knightley and Steve Carell for the assassins he hired to kill him, and a Knightley and Carell having dinner at a restaurant where it seems that everyone, including the very gay maître'd, is on ecstasy. While I do believe the film needed a touch of wit, at no point did it have to be this insistent. The heavy-handed verbal and physical gags are strained and unbecoming, suggesting that writer/director Lorene Scafaria initially had no faith in her own idea.

But then, gradually, the defensive layers peel away, and we see the more compelling story underneath. Carell plays Dodge Petersen, whose wife literally runs away from him after it's announced on the radio that the mission to destroy a rapidly approaching asteroid with a laser has failed. Being alone for the end of days puts him in a depression the likes of which no hedonistic acts can get him out of. But then he meets his downstairs neighbor, Penny Lockhart (Knightley), a young woman who never quite got her life together and feels incredibly guilty for leaving her family back in Surrey, England. She lost her chance to go back following the complete termination of all commercial flights. A bit spacey, a passionate vinyl album collector, and an astoundingly heavy sleeper, she's currently in an on again/off again relationship with her boyfriend, Owen (Brody), who truly is clueless.

She and Dodge take those initial steps towards friendship over a picture of Dodge's high school sweetheart, the girl that got away. Dodge and Penny strike a deal: If she can get help him find his lost love, he can get her to someone that owns a plane and can fly her to her family. The more they travel, the more they reveal themselves. I will not delve into every detail of their pasts; the less you know about them beforehand, the more you will appreciate what they say to each other. I will say that the conversations between Dodge and Penny are a pleasure to listen to because of the humanity Scafaria infuses them with. We hear a mixture of regret, anger, and confusion, but we also hear consolation, understanding, resignation, and yes, even joy. There's really no way of knowing how you would feel or what you would want to talk about under this particular set of circumstances, but from a purely emotional perspective, this feels right.

There's a brief subplot involving one of Penny's ex-boyfriends, a militant survivalist named Speck (Derek Luke), who has a titanium-walled fallout shelter stocked with guns, gas masks, and potato chips. Although his fate remains a mystery, he makes several thought-provoking, if cruel and incredibly unfair, points about the potential continuation of the human species and where Penny fits into that. We're left to wonder whether or not he truly believes in her ability to survive; it's quite possible he's simply trying to win her back before it's too late. Speck proves to be helpful by lending Penny and Dodge one of his fuel efficient cars, enabling them to complete their journey and find Dodge's old flame.

The Rotten Tomatoes consensus on "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" expresses disappointment over the final act. This is an opinion I'm admittedly baffled by. Exactly how did the naysayers want this movie to end? Did they really need to see a montage of glorious destruction, i.e. flashy special effects? If it had nothing to do with that, then what was it about the emotional climax between Knightley and Carell that was lacking? Because their characters are the focus of the film, and because it's about reestablishing a connection with someone you care about, I frankly don't see how it could have ended any other way. Everything that needed to be said was actually said, and no more. I think some of us are too conditioned to expect more than is necessary from a narrative resolution.

-- Chris Pandolfi (
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I think time will be really really good to this one. Its a strange strange movie but it definitely works
Matthew Stechel16 July 2012
This is one of those movies that I suspect will become a lot better through repeat viewing on TV some years from now. (or even next year when it ends up showing up on HBO at 3 AM every couple of nights) Its a strange, strange movie and i think fans of eccentric romantics comedies will love it--movie somewhat reminded me of some of my own personal off beat comedy romances like Joe Versus The Volcano or Defending Your Life or Ghost Town ins some ways---except with much blacker humor---however oh boy will not everyone like this one, but those who do will very much love it passionately. I saw this with my mom and even though I felt certain she would have liked the odd mixture of super dark comedy with somewhat typical "steve carell is lovesick" brand romantic comedy (which the film threatens to become in the last half but somehow manages to starve off somewhat) but she did not care for it at all calling it way too depressing, and that not even the sweetness could hide the sourness of that first half. (Her immediate words after the end credits came up were "well that was cheerful Matthew, thanks for dragging me to this one") I on the other hand quite enjoyed how completely and totally dark that first half hour is, and how the flashes of darkness that pop up throughout the film as it goes on the more conventional Lovelorn Steve Carrell falls in love path manage to bring the film tonally back in line with that first half hour, so that even when the film turns into a somewhat off beat romantic comedy--the tone at least remains consistent.

What i love more than anything i think is how completely realistic the film feels in its depiction of humanity reacting to their imminent demise. Those scenes of Carrell at the office and in the H.R. meeting where he's told that some promotional opportunities have somehow arisen ("Who here wants to be the new CFO? Anyone? it comes with a bump in salary!") are priceless, as is the scenes of him just kind of wallowing in the craziness that's going on around him. Carrell by the way is the perfect leading man for this because his everyman passivity works wonderfully with the insanity that's going on around him even more so then usual. (the usual meaning the way he is when he's playing these lovelorn but quiet down to earth everyman guys ala Dan In Real Life and not the way he is on The Office needless to say.)

The romance with Kiera Knightley is fine. They actually play pretty well off each other and I can totally buy him falling head over heels in love with her in spite of his many misgivings that pop up as the film goes along. Knightley constantly clutching the stack of random records that she takes from her apartment is a very nice touch for her character and tells you more about her then any of her various dialog scenes she has--still those scenes in the last half where she's ruminating about how she's never going to see her family again, or where she's thinking about all the time she wasted on people who didn't matter, who she knew didn't even matter while she was with them instead of being with the handful of people she really wishes she could spend more time with was very emotionally well done. She i think manages to be warmer and likable in a way that she hasn't in a long time here but that may just be me.

The ending is pitch perfect too for whatever that's worth.

There is definitely going to be a growing group of people discovering this one for years and years from now and falling in love with it. Who knew it took Armageddon to get Steve Carrell to turn in an even halfway engaging performance again? (and if you don't think he does a great job here---see his monologue in the jail cell a little over an hour in--that is one heartbreaking monologue and he's wonderful delivering it in his own quiet way.) Its not a perfect film, but whatever flaws you can throw at it---the storyline's not the most well thought out, things seem to happen and then not happen as if on cue--how does Carrell manage to end up back at his apt and finding it in one piece after badly needing to leave it lest he be destroyed along with it???) whatever flaws you can throw at it i think can be met with a shrug and a dismissal if only because Carrell, Knightley, and that dark, bittersweet tone more than compensate for any scratches along the way. (Besides its the scratches in the well worn grooves that make the movie richer and fuller and have a deeper sound anyways.)
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Mis-casting if ever there was one
lucyliu1on1@gmail.com16 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
With relatively good expectations I went to see this film, only to truly experience the most nauseating awful movie I have seen in a decade. It was difficult to pin down all the reasons why I thought it was so dreadful, but mis-casting was definitely one of them. K. Knightley once and for all proves she has limited acting range. I'm British, and if this is an example of someone from England then god help everyone's perceptions of us. She would not last one minute in the general public and be put away in an asylum for the deranged and annoying. The plot holes are too many to mention, but to point a few: was a light aircraft capable of flying across the Atlantic?; if she (Knightley) claims she could sleep through Armageddon, she would have been in England before she woke up and realised where she was. Why was there a dog in the story? Why when he returned to his apartment after the riot was it not trashed?

It is difficult to say whether the script given to a couple with better on screen chemistry and acting range would have saved this movie. Steve Carell looked as lost and clueless as his character, and that's not a compliment. He's been in much better films; a decision to take this role was a mistake.

The pace was way too slow and only made worse by the uninteresting characters. To think they would fall in love and Steve would not stop vomiting listening to the over the top English accent delivered from Knightley was just too unbelievable.

I think I left the movie with an audience trying to hide their disappointment.
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Keira Knightley and Steve Carrel gave the performances of their careers. Truly amazing movie!!!
bopdog23 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Gosh- this is a spectacularly grand movie. It is quiet, as you've probably heard. Something in the performances of the stellar cast made this wonderful.

It is not a comedy- but there were a few passages that had whimsy, but the natural real-life whimsy life itself so often exhibits in the oddest times (such as the end of the world, perhaps?). Especially the scenes with the parents and their kids getting ready for an "end of the world" party they were hosting at their house. The dad plying the 7-year old girl with alcohol, and telling his mouthy 14-year old "Why don't you go f*** yourself" just struck me as hilarious. Even loving (if you understand families). Perhaps because it felt natural. It was not at all Adam Sandlerish (and I really enjoy Adam Sandler, BTW). It just rang true as to what a modern family who are otherwise very loving might do when faced with the adrenaline and hyper-sensitivity of the end of the world coming a mere 4 weeks. Anyway, I thought the family, and the party, was satisfyingly real, and warmly funny.

The four "name" actors- William Peterson, Martin Sheen, and of course Keira Knightley and Steve Carrel were finely tuned. They played their typical "characters," as we've come to know them over the years, to be sure. But it's as if they took those characters right to the edge, and stopped short of anything expected or routine. Each brought a sensitive and heartfelt realness to their performances in "Seeking a Friend...." They expressed real regret, optimism, love, anxiety- but not in any way "designed" to manipulate the audience in stock cliché manners. Rather, they were all fresh and real- and perhaps that's what made them all so effective on screen. I believe one could say their performances here, even the small roles, are to be counted among their best work of their careers.

Spoiler alert- I loved the ending, and confess I had tears in my eyes. It wasn't played for doom, or gloom- but was nonetheless about as affecting and emotional as one could probably get in a movie depicting an asteroid smashing into earth and killing everything.

Keira Knightley and Steve Carrel were pitch-perfect in the final 1/2 hour- and when she reacts to the "event," and he beams his love and safety to her- I just teared up- happy and moved. I will be buying this on Blu-Ray.
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A good yet a little messy genre shakeup with strong performances
Movie_Muse_Reviews24 June 2012
After vampires, movie studios these days love the apocalypse (or at least an alien invasion that could bring it about), so it was a matter of time before we started to get different riffs on Armageddon. "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" brings doomsday into romantic comedy territory and the resulting story has all kinds of notes, from humorous to romantic to downright dramatic.

It's a mess of moods fitting of the apocalypse, even if we prefer our films to be more uniform in their genres. Lorene Scafaria (writer of "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist") tries to stitch them all together in her directorial debut, and while the seams could be less apparent, "Seeking a Friend" makes solid patchwork of some strong individual scenes and performances.

Who better to lead a film about literally hopeless romance than Steve Carell, whose character Dodge watches as his wife (a cameo by Carell's actual wife, Nancy) bolts from the car and runs away forever as soon as Earth's prognosis hits the radio. Thus begins Act I, the comedy portion of the film.

Scafaria does a conscientious job imagining how affluent 40-somethings as well as other types would react knowing the world was set to end in three weeks time. Dodge tries initially to keep some sense of decorum by going to his job at an insurance company where the 10 remaining employees gather perfunctorily and the job of CFO is up for grabs. His cleaning lady continues to come and clean. His friends (among them a couple hilarious small roles from Rob Cordry and Patton Oswalt) try to keep up appearances, but boundaries of taste and fidelity have virtually faded. Dodge resists letting conventions dissolve into nothing, though he's far from optimistic. That's where Penny comes in.

Penny (Keira Knightley) is a self-proclaimed serial monogamist and eternal optimist who's rather harsh on herself. She and Dodge have been neighbors, though only through recent have they come together. As it turns out, Penny has much of Dodge's misplaced mail, and when she returns it, he finds a letter from his high school sweetheart — the one that got away — expressing how she always felt he was the love of her life. When riots break out in the city overnight, Dodge decides to wake Penny up and flee town with her, and when they do, she encourages Dodge to try and track down his biggest regret.

When the road trips starts, the comedy element of the film lingers, but the trajectory is romance and drama with some lighthearted moments interspersed. Scafaria at least spares us a cheesy build up as far as Dodge and Penny's chemistry, so the romance doesn't spoil everything with predictability. In fact, much of the film you're likely to root for Dodge finding his old flame just to see what happens.

The comedy is quite brilliant when it's there, so it's a shame Scafaria abandons it. At the same time, the choice seems natural for a movie taking place right before Armageddon, especially one that's end game is definitely romance. Carell and Knightley need a chance to interact one-on-one in order for the whole thing to work.

Both actors are excellent, with Knightley infusing some actual dramatic talent into the kind of movie you would never expect her to do with her period piece background. She and Carell get a wide range of moments to play with and they bring the heart and emotion to the film. It's tough to say if two random actors would've produced as believable a connection and chemistry.

At the same time, for all their prowess, some scenes feel strangely out of place as far as tone. On at least two occasions, Penny begins to cry, and while Knightley really sells us on it (you honestly believe her in a scene in which she is finally able to phone home and talk to her family one last time), but the waterworks are squeezed in. I wouldn't doubt that this would happen in a real-life apocalyptic scenario, but in a movie it's awkward. It ultimately makes Penny's motivations (which should be very clear-cut with the world about to end) a little convoluted.

"Seeking a Friend" finds moments of utmost sincerity and wrestles with some intriguing notions such as whether or not our instincts for partnership would or would not be heightened in a doomsday scenario. As a whole, it offers film's most realistic look to date at how normal people would behave in this situation, yet as the romantic and dramatic elements build, some character motivations and feelings come into question, even though the actors are so convincing.

Boiled down, "Seeking a Friend" offers a true change of pace for the genre led by two strong actors you'd never expect to work together. Maybe that's part of why it's tough to completely get on board with what's going on with the characters emotionally, though there's little doubt they elevate the material. And it's strong material too, but the entire package could have been neater.

~Steven C

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An irritating, unbelievable marathon that will make you wish you hadn't wasted your time
randomaccess1019 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I had high hopes for this film seeing the reviews here so decided to go and see it. However after 15 minutes of watching this drivel my feet itched to leave... how this got such good reviews is beyond me? Rigged?

First of all, the completely unbelievable plot and character motivations might actually be justified if this were a "comedy". However, this film is far from funny, in fact the jokes are beyond poor, lazy, and completely unoriginal. I laughed once (I think although I feel asleep).

Secondly, nothing can be worse than Keira Knightley's performance as this superficial "English" girl. Even within the first 3 minutes of her appearance you will find a completely irritating, unbelievable, shallow character thanks to persistent over-acting of such clichés. Throughout, she amateurishly overacts the traits of a "Camden Girl" into an irritating, completely uncharismatic, 2D farce that will have you praying for her to leave the scene. Being a resident of London, I'd be surprised if her unrealistic plasticity didn't offend any young, females who may identify with the role Keira is attempting to portray. What a shame for her... maybe an 8 year old could identify with her at best?

Secondly, since this film is classed into the "Romance" genre and the overriding plot is that they get together in the end, you would at least expect the two leading characters to have some sort of rapport or even a smidgen of a spark between them? No chance! The relationship between the Keira and Steve is wooden, awkward and completely unbelievable. The two characters interact on a level that doesn't even qualify as friendship and it is tiring to watch... Steve is completely passive while Keira rants on pretending to be this dizzy, annoying "Camden" idiot. Even if it was possible to combine these two completely incompatible characters, the acting makes it completely impossible to believe!

Even in the later scene's when they are lying side by side in bed, you can almost detect Steve Carell is as tired and irritated by Keira as I was, while muttering words of unconditional, end-of-world, LOVE - ?????

After a good hour of enduring this film, sometime towards the end I woke up to Keira Knightley talking about the grooves on vinyl records in a style not dissimilar to some boring relative filling time and having NOTHING else to talk about... that's how boring, annoying, and plot-less this film is, you are literally on the edge of your seat hoping something will just the point where I just felt this film was wasting my time and actually wanted to LEAVE.

So what is this film? Romance, Comedy, Drama?

None of these; just a messy concoction with no direction or identity, irritating 2D characters, and an unbelievable, unmoving story that will make you wish you were doing something more constructive with your time... like being asleep.
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A Half-Baked Hollywoodized Rip-Off ..
leeonair27 September 2012
After having just watched this terribly disappointing movie(all the way to the end) I feel compelled to say that it has taken(i.e., stolen) many of its key ideas & characters from one of my favorite films of the last 15 years: Last Night(1998) and watered it all down with a rather sappy treatment of what was otherwise great material. It's not only extremely derivative of the aforementioned film but more importantly, has none of the intelligence, poignancy, nor(dare I say it) humor of Don McKellar's wonderfully original work. Nor does it have Sandra Oh, David Cronenberg & Geneviève Bujold! Do yourself a favor & see what I mean.
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Quiet, sensitive, enjoyable...
George Bailey14 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Curiously, some reviewers were expecting this to be a rip-snorting laughathon. It isn't. The end of the world is not exactly comedy box- office, and this was never going to be "40 year-old virgin meets Deep Impact". But nor is it sombre, either.

Gentle playing from two engaging leads, some amusing touches, and the question we are all expected to ask is "What should you do if you know the world is going to end next week?" (not, "What would you do?")

Mercifully, the film avoids focusing on the gory details of what some people choose to do, but this leaves Knightley and Carell carrying the entire movie, which drifts a little in places before coming back to its entirely appropriately unsensational conclusion. The question is satisfyingly answered: do what you should do for the whole of your life. The answer's in the title, and if that's too romantic for some, that's too bad.
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I nearly fell asleep
garg-216-19662718 July 2012
I wanted a meteor to fall to earth and destroy every character in the film, but I wanted this to happen within the first 10 minutes. That is how bad it was.

I have never wanted to walk out of a film until I saw this. I stayed until the end... A choice I regret fully.

The plot is awful, the dialogue stale, the casting is questionable and the pace... The pace of the film is like an old man falling down a flight of stairs in slow motion, drinking some tea on the way down.

I began to suspect the inside of my eyelids were more interesting than this film, an idea I came close to testing towards the final quarter of this tragically dismal film.

The main two characters are both unlike-able and shallow. The actors have no chemistry, though I can't blame them for not being able to squeeze any life into such a dud script.
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chosannah4 April 2017
Honestly, I am so upset with myself that I haven't seen this movie sooner.

I am a HUGE Steve Carell fan and had heard of this movie but for some reason never actually saw it. It was so beautiful, breathtaking, and is about the meaning of life. Steve Carell is so perfect and honest. Keira Knightley is vulnerable and unapologetic. Everything just works so well for this film.
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There would never be enough time
mads leonard holvik17 December 2016
I really liked this movie! It is warm, comforting, wondrous, strange and uplifting. At first I found it a bit boring, but then I started to like it. The calm of the man in the main lead is very comforting. Maybe when you know the end is coming, when you know it will soon be over, there is real purpose and meaning and peace? In the midst of the total tragedy that is the ending of the world from a meteor impact, it seems like the people in the movie have come together in some way or another, or come to terms with themselves. I really like the feeling of tranquility that the movie has, in the face of doom. It is totally beautiful! The film is also funny, in a sometimes understated way, other times more explicit. The scene in the Friendsy's restaurant comes to mind. I liked the male lead more and more. The same with the female. I started caring for her, and in the end scene, everything comes together in a very touching and special moment. I am grateful for having found this gem of a movie!
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Wow, loved it
garciajake26 September 2016
Going into this movie I wasn't expecting much, thought it would be some raunchy comedy but wow was I wrong.It started out seeming like it would be just a basic comedy after meeting all the actors and actresses that usually are in comedy movies. But as soon as Keira Knightley becomes the focus, it really ventures out to a more meaningful yet still funny type movie that I really did enjoy a lot. Steve Carell did a great job, he really did convince me on his character and was cast perfectly for this role, but Keira Knightley WOW I'm in love (honestly what is not to love about Keira Knightley). All of her scenes were fantastic, here funny scenes actually had me laughing out loud at some points, and her more dramatic scenes really brought some tears to my eyes. I loved this movie, its funny and meaningful at the same time and I would rate it a 10 out of 10 any day. Should've gotten a higher rating than it did, at the very least in the 7's.
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Love in the final days
hellraiser722 June 2012
The question of what would we do if the world were to end is a question we would ask ourselves subconsciously mainly due to our subconscious fear of the end of our lives coming when we least expect it. There are millions of different answers, my answer is to be with my girlfriend/significant other, both of us would go on a trip and have a good time while with each other.

I really like how the film is set up it almost reminds me a bit of the underrated 80's gem "Miricle Mile" which was also about a couple facing the final minutes on Earth while trying to survive the chaos. And we see everything is somewhat chaotic because it pretty much a giant incubator of mixed emotions where some just go crazy, depressed, detached, angry or anything else you can think off. But it's also an interesting world because despite this dire fact of life ending there is a greater sense of freedom, because it grants people the right to do whatever they most desire in life right now without restrictions.

The film is funny may'be not always ha ha funny, because this is more a dramady. My favorite comedic scene which I found hilarious was no doubt both Dodge and Penny going into the "T.G.I. Friday's" like restaurant which is called Friendles and we see that it's became a Marianna cult since the food and drink might be laced with some Marianna let alone all the staff are lets just say overly friendly. But most importantly the film is actually rather touching which is what makes the film bittersweet.

Steve Carell plays brilliantly the sad clown type once more, I always love it when he plays that because it give him freedom to exercise more emotions. Dodge is a person in a midlife crisis which makes him ironically lives to his name he has been avoiding life. The fact the world will end doesn't even faze him because literally doesn't have much of a life but worst of all no one.

One of my favorite actresses (and whom I think is fraking hot in my book anyway) Keira Knightly is just great what's interesting is that this is kinda the first comedy she in and she is surprisingly funny. I just love her character whom is vibrant, energetic, interesting from her hobby of listening and collecting vinal records; one moment with her I thought was funny was as she was escaping with Dodge from a looter invasion she was picking out some records she was taking with her, I'd probably do the same thing with my DVD collection.

I really loved the chemistry between the two, both had great banter but I really loved how both did fit one another because they were able to fill that missing part of their life. It felt believable because the characters and their interplay was well developed, it developed steadily where you already knew the answer but the question is how and when. In my book this film was one of those rare romances done the right way because you actually care about both characters. Which makes this all the more sad because you care so much you don't want both of them to die, you don't want the world to end, but there's nothing you can do about it.

If there is a lesson in this film it's simply "Carpe Diem" translation Seaze the Day. Whatever you want to do the most in life, do it now because no of us have as much time as we think. A journey to the end is really a journey to the beginning.

Rating: 4 stars
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