A new review from the desk of The Movie Snob.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (B+). I have wanted to see this movie ever since I first saw the previews for it a while back. My keenly trained critic’s intuition told me that this was a movie that should really be titled Hoping Keira Knightley Will Date Me Because It’s the End of the World, and I rather like Keira Knightley. Well, I saw the film today, and I can’t say my critic’s intuition was wrong. As the movie opens, we learn from a handy TV news guy that the world is going to end in three weeks, smashed by a giant asteroid named Matilda that NASA has proved powerless to stop. After that, we experience the last days of Earth as seen through the eyes of Dodge Peterson (Steve Carell, Little Miss Sunshine). Dodge is a sad fellow, an insurance salesman whose wife Linda ran off pretty much as soon as the apocalypse countdown started. Then Dodge meets his downstairs neighbor, the cute and free-spirited Penny (Knightley, Never Let Me Go). Dodge accidentally acquires a dog, the city starts to get a little dangerous with all the rioting and looting, and next thing you know Dodge and Penny are on a joint road trip to accomplish their separate missions–he to find his long-lost high-school sweetheart, and she to find someone with a plane who can get her back to her family in England. It’s a little sappy and sentimental (after a fairly dark opening act), but Carell and Knightley play appealing and likeable people, and the bottom line is that the movie worked for me. Too bad it got mixed critical reviews and apparently sank like a stone at the box office; I say it deserved better.