For Reel

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
July 19, 2012, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Those still in recovery from their Melancholia-induced depression might have more patience for the slightness of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the new dramedy from the screenwriter of the surprisingly appealing Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Unlike the bride-to-be of von Trier’s film, Lorene Scarfaria’s characters have not resigned themselves to their fates, with their countdown to the end of days instead serving as an invigorating motivational tool to rid themselves of regret. Star Steve Carrell, now in his post Michael Scott career, shows questionable promise as a dramatic leading man. Much like his performances in Dan in Real Life and Crazy, Stupid, Love., he is so earnest, so intentionally humorless that he barely registers as a presence on screen. Keira Knightley, on the other hand, is desperately animated – their dynamic gives one flashbacks of the disastrous James Franco and Anne Hathaway combination at the Academy Awards. Scarfaria has one inspired joke – that many average people have continued their day-to-day slog despite the impending apocalypse – but much of the comedy falls flat, such as the unmemorable vignettes involving a suicidal truck-driver and the overly-enthused workers at a Fridays-like restaurant.

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