Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World review

How would humanity react to the news that in one month Earth would be struck by a meteor that will wipe out every living thing on the planet and there was nothing we could do to stop it? What would you do if you only had a month to live? How would society collapse if everyone knew and shared the same expiration date? If there’s a reason that apocalyptic comedies are in short supply it’s probably because they’re fairly tricky to pull off. “Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World” has ambition to be admired even if it isn’t entirely successful. This setup provides both broader laughs (fucking everyone without consequence!) and more contemplative moments (facing your mortality) in a complex juggling act. In the film, depressed forty-something Dodge (Steve Carell in low-key “Little Miss Sunshine” mode) decides to seek out “the one that got away” after his wife leaves him while his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley, always charming), a young British woman just wants to be reunited with her family in England. So naturally, the unlikely pair set off on a road trip together.

Writer/director Lorene Scafaria has assembled an extremely impressive cast for her sophomore film including brief turns from Connie Britton, Melanie Lynskey, Rob Corddry, Adam Brody, Gillian Jacobs, Rob Huebel, Patton Oswalt, William Peterson and Martin Sheen among others. But the spine of the film rests on the chemistry between Carell and Knightley which is not as strong as it could be. They’re both great actors but the pairing of these characters never quite seems to fit as well as it should. The tone likewise remains mostly on the lighter side which is probably okay considering how depressing the subject matter is and the fact that this is ostensibly a comedy. But I still have to admit I would’ve liked to see things get a little darker. (It’s also straining even as movie logic to see so many people still going to work in the final week or two.) Scafaria may have bit off a bit more than she could chew tonally but I have to admire her for trying. The finale in particular is so ballsy and unexpected, it both elevates the previous 80 minutes and makes me wish it had been as assured as the ending.

13 Films I Am Probably Definitely Going To See This Summer

Well, “The Avengers” is out today which must mean that Summer Movie Season is once again upon us. For the next 3 months multiplexes will be pummeled with all manner of potential blockbusters (with the occasional arthouse counterprogramming). While I’ve also seen a handful of Summer releases which I’d recommend including “The Avengers,” “Beasts Of The Southern Wild,” “The Loved Ones" and "Safety Not Guaranteed" there are still plenty of films left to go. Some I couldn’t be less interested in (“Battleship” “Men In Black 3” etc.), some I’m more curious about than anticipating and some I’m really, really looking forward to (see below!) Alright, May to August here we go!

1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20) Christopher Nolan returns to finish his epic Bat-trilogy. I walked out of “The Dark Knight” thinking it was an impossible act to follow, but 4 years later I’m starting to think that if anyone can do it, Nolan can. Watch the trailer.

2. Prometheus (June 8) This quasi-prequel to “Alien” marks director Ridley Scott’s first foray into sci-fi in 30 years. It looks incredible but can it possibly live up to the trailer?

3. Moonrise Kingdom (May 25) Despite a decade of diminishing returns for the celebrated auteur I remain hopeful that his latest - a 60’s set tale featuring two 12 year old runaways - will mark a return to form. Wes Anderson, I just can’t quit you. Watch the trailer.

4. Brave (June 22) After punishing America last summer with a film whose name I dare not speak, Pixar look ready to apologize to us. I haven’t been blown away by the trailers but am still hoping that my blind faith in the studio will pay off with another classic.

5. The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3) It may seem too soon to push reset on the “Spider-Man” series but the 3rd entry was a “Batman & Robin”-level disaster that really called for it. Add Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone and some unexpected talent behind the camera and I’m definitely curious to see what they do with it. Watch the trailer.

6. ParaNorman (August 17) From the studio that brought you “Coraline” comes another dark and beautiful looking stop-motion tale. This one features a misunderstood boy who can speak to the dead. Watch the trailer, be convinced.

7. Snow White & The Huntsman (June 1) Though I’m not really interested in the whole fairy tale re-imaginings (started by Tim Burton’s odious “Alice In Wonderland”) I have to say I’ve been curious about this one since I saw some visuals last year at Comic-Con. Watch the trailer.

8. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (June 22) A dark comedy about the end of the world starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Doesn’t that sound like something you would want to see? Watch the trailer.

9. Neighborhood Watch (July 27) Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace“‘s Richard Ayoade in a Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg scripted, Akiva Schaffer (Lonely Island) directed comedy about suburban dads who defend their neighborhood from aliens. Watch the trailer.

10. The Campaign Will Ferrell v. Zach Galifianakis as rival politicians. (August 10)

11. Ted (July 13) From the creator of “Family Guy.” But just watch the trailer.

12. The Dictator (May 16) The first trailer was very bad but the new one is much better!

13. Ruby Sparks (July 25) From the directors behind “Little Miss Sunshine” comes their long awaited sophomore feature which could be too precious or it could be cute.Watch the trailer.

Also: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22), The Bourne Legacy (August 3), Dark Shadows (May 11), Magic Mike (June 29), Savages (July 6).