SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD—-as an asteroid approaches the Earth, an insurance agent’s wife leaves him, and he embarks with an earnest young neighbor on a mission to reconcile with a lost love before doom arrives. It’s The Last Road Trip.
Rueful comedy, matched by touching drama, with Steve Carell as the jilted romantic and Keira Knightley as his next-door Sancho Panza, albeit rather cuter. Critics were divided, some feeling the tonal wavering hurt the plotline over its casually paced 101 minutes, but to me it worked well, as the pair travel past a swath of humanity reacting in various ways to The End. Funny bits from Mark Moses as a TV announcer covering the breakdown of society “Once again, if you’re just tuning in, the CSA space shuttle Deliverance has been destroyed. The final mission to save mankind has failed. The seventy mile wide asteroid known commonly as Matilda is set to collide with Earth in exactly three weeks time, and we’ll be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of our countdown to the ‘End of Days’, along with all your classic rock favorites. This is Q 107.2.” Nancy Carell, Steve’s real wife, plays his movie wife. Welcome cameos from William Peterson and Martin Sheen.
Unlike other apocalypse-near movies, this one doesn’t focus on mayhem, but on loss and connection, even if it’s just a hand to hold when the lights flicker. It was the first feature for director & scenarist Lorene Scafaria, and the production cost of $10,000,000 was marked a decided financial failure when it pulled a poor $9,600,000, as crowds would rather see Steve being silly in farce than somber in fatalism. Great finale. Good soundtrack. With Adam Brody, Melanie Lynskey, Connie Britton, Patton Oswalt, Rob Corddry, Amy Schumer. T.J. Miller and Roger Aaron Brown.