Wow. Someone really messed up on marketing. The commercials for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World -- and really, the movie was such a blip, maybe you missed them -- made this film appear like a lighthearted, romantic comedy. However, when you see a movie about the end of the world, you have to know it's going to be at least a little depressing, right?
And it is -- quite a bit, actually. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is insanely depressing, but it's also sweet, well acted and well written. It stars Steve Carell, who has dabbled in more serious stuff like Little Miss Sunshine and Dan In Real Life. However, the guy is mainly known for making audiences laugh. Blips of comedians Patton Oswalt, Rob Corddry and Amy Schumer probably didn't help the film's identity crisis at all.
Besides the confusion, it's easy to see why the film didn't do well. Does anyone really want to know what the world would be like when the end is eminent? Even if it's kind of funny? The answer to that is "no," judging by the box office receipts. That's a shame, too, because this is a good little movie.
Carell stars as a guy named Dodge who gets dumped by his wife (played by Carell's real-life wife Nancy), as a 70-mile-wide asteroid named Matilda hurtles toward Earth. Apparently, she has things to do with her remaining three weeks. Dodge, however, does not. He goes about business as usual, going to work and making dinner, until he meets neighbor Penny (Keira Knightly).
When riots erupt in the streets, the two escape and decide to go in search of Dodge's one true love, the one that got away. As the two travel on, they encounter a crazy cast of characters and develop a special bond. It's the type of bond you probably wouldn't think of when hearing "Steve Carell and Keira Knightly" in the same sentence, but it's certainly there.
In her directorial debut, writer Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) tackles one tough topic. The film obviously had a hard time finding an audience and is depressing as hell in some spots. That said, Seeking a Friend at the End of the World is actually a good movie that manages to lock down a lot of the fears, as well as the romantic and heartwarming moments, that you don't really get with the typical Armageddon-style flick.
It's really not the end of the world if you want to read another review of this movie. Check out Mark Grady's theatrical review of Seeking a Friend at the End of the World.
For a newer film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a surprisingly dim color palette. That said, we probably wouldn't expect the end of existence to be filled with pinks and other pretty colors. However, ithis 2.35:1 transfer is insanely lifelike, has some great black levels, and is enjoyable throughout.
The end of the world has a pretty cool soundtrack, which this DTS-HD Master Audio track delivers quite nicely. The music definitely packs the most surround punch throughout this film, until the big finale. Otherwise, it's mostly about the dialogue here, which the track delivers clearly, even through the film's most frantic moments.
Don't expect the end of the world to come packing a lot of extras. The best of the slim selection here is the commentary. Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria brings in an interesting cast of characters for the track -- and I'm not even talking about the presence of Scafaria's mother. It also includes actors Patton Oswalt and Adam Brody, who are both kind of a blip in the movie. Otherwise, "A Look Inside" is nothing but a 5-minute promo on the movie, and the featurette that should be about the music is another 2 minutes that repeats what was in the 5-minute short.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is certainly not for everyone. Judging by the box-office take, it didn't really seem like it was for anyone. That's a shame, too. Steve Carell and Keira Knightley play nicely off each other and there is an excellent surrounding cast here. It can be depressing, so be prepared for that. One thing you won't be bummed out about is the film's AV presentation, which is very nice.