Reviews: Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World

Promising first half, letdown second

The setup and first act of this movie are great. There's an asteroid, everyone's going to die, what are you going to do about it? We see several different approaches early on: suicide, rioting, dramatic relationship choices, etc, and through it all strong black humor. For the second act our heroes transition to a road trip. All of this is entertaining and meaningful.

The problem arises as the Romantic Plot Tumor takes over the last third of the movie. Male lead predictably falls for Manic Pixie Dream Girl because she's interesting and he's not; MPDG falls for him because she needs something boringly solid in a world that's breaking apart. Our leads are too wrapped up in each other to continue the observations that made the first part of the movie funny and poignant. The final message is "Nothing else is as important as your week-old romantic relationship", which is plenty troubling in itself.

Lots of great talent goes wasted as well, from Patton Oswalt and Martin Sheen right up to Carell himself, whose subtle performance runs cross-purpose to a movie where the sky is literally falling.