Apocalypse-based romantic comedies don’t come around all too often, so Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
First off, MSN’s James Rocchi gave the film three and a half stars and summed it up with a positive shout-out to Steve Carell:
While ‘Seeking a Friend’ doesn’t break any new ground, it does cover familiar pop-culture territory with grace and style, and having Carell in the lead helps inestimably.
Carell is undoubtedly a solid comedic actor and Knightley is bound to bring a bit of class to any project she’s a part of. ComingSoon shares this view, and takes it further declaring the film:
A truly wonderful debut from Lorene Scafaria, taking a simple premise and turning it into the type of movie that may take time in finding its audience but will find its share of fans due to the inimitable chemistry between Carell and Knightley.
This on-screen chemistry and Scafaria’s directorial flair might have won them over, but it wasn’t enough for everybody. Variety trashed the film mercilessly, refusing to pull any punches:
The end of the world can’t come fast enough in ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,’ a disastrously dull take on the disaster-movie formula that chooses to spend the last three weeks of life on earth with two of its least interesting inhabitants.
Disastrously dull is perhaps a little harsh, surely the film can’t be all that bad? CinemaBlend agrees with Variety, but concedes that the film isn’t completely terrible. Reviewer Katey Rich start off by complaining that:
There’s no limit to the cutesy, unrealistic things that happen to Dodge once he meets Keira Knightley’s Penny.
She then goes on to acknowledge that:
There’s wit to spare in ‘Seeking a Friend’, not to mention the irresistibly melancholy presence, but Scafaria never assembles all the elements into a meaningful whole, much less crafting a romance that’s worth following through the end of time.
Of all the reviews, The Playlist‘s is probably the most balanced one. The notoriously snarky blog presented both the good and the bad parts of the film, noting that:
‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ valiantly tries to inject a familiar premise with renewed emotional discernment and instead flails about in search of it… Before ‘Seeking a Friend’ stumbles, however, it pitches a tone between comedy and tragedy that holds unique appeal.
The overall view on Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is that it attempts to offers us something fresh and original. Wes Anderson films aside, it really is rare to find a film that can combine comedy and tragedy. While the movie gives it a good try, it falls a little short of the mark. Sounds like an interesting film, but not one for the ages.