Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World - Blu-ray Review

'These two people are arguably made for each other but they'd never know it if they weren't forced into sharing the apocalypse.'

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is a balancing act of tone and style from the word 'go', a dynamic film which pulls through genres with abandon; a Comedy shot through with angsty Romance and a melancholy that only an end-of-the-world Drama can create. It's not used in the film but R.E.M.'s It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) is clearly the perfect soundtrack. 'Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed', sings Michael Stipe at one point, smiling the whole time, through an upbeat song about destruction, loss and heartbreak.

It's this tone that Seeking A Friend tries to emulate. We're all about to die but lets have some fun first with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, even if writer/director Lorene Scafaria does admit to us early doors that elsewhere there are people who want to watch the world burn before it is destroyed.

In mixing these tones it is little surprise that there are hits and misses. The Comedy gets off to a strong start with a scattering of familiar faces appearing for near-cameos. Rob Corddry, Adam Brody, Patton Oswalt and William Petersen appear as characters they've more or less played in the past. Unsurprisingly, Corddry's garish humour doesn't quite fit, although it is undoubtedly funny, whilst Petersen's worldly, and wordy, trucker threatens to grind the plot's pace to dust.

After we've met T.J. Miller in a Friendsy's bar though, our two leads are pretty much on their own and Scafaria concentrates on the pathos. Carell's downplay - which he's been working on since at least Dan In Real Life and has now pretty much perfected - stands up well against Knightley's earnest confusion. There is chemistry here, even if the premise and the stills tell your eyes and logical judgement otherwise, a subtext the film is partially concerned with. These two people are arguably made for each other but they'd never know it if they weren't forced into sharing the apocalypse.

The emotional register starts to kick up a gear in the final third and the director does well to tease it out but ultimately the gap from the Comedy section is too jarring and the finale does feel somewhat terse because of its lack of humour. It's your atypical film of two halves or, as Stipe might say as he sings us out, it's a film with a 'nice continental drift divide'.



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