Much like writer-director Lorene Scafaria’s previous film, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World concerns an unexpected romance blossoming between two strangers while on an impromptu road trip. Unlike Nick And Norah, that road trip is spurred by an Earth-destroying asteroid, which sets off an apocalyptic frenzy of orgiastic free-for-alls and Casual Friday wear on regular weekdays. And in this preview, at least, Steve Carell approaches these end times in much the same way he’s reacted to nearly every indignity his movie characters suffer—with detached, affable resignation—but he comes alive thanks to his kooky British neighbor, played by Keira Knightley, and a mission to reconnect with his high school sweetheart before everything explodes.
Hey, wonder if they’ll figure out they’re actually meant for each other before everyone dies (or, more likely, is spared at the last minute)? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter, as their relationship seems like just the plotline on which Scafaria can hang several understated comic observations on how we might really react to Armageddon, bringing in supporting turns from people like Patton Oswalt, Connie Britton, Rob Huebel, Rob Corddry, and Gillian Jacobs, and proposing that, hey, it may be the end of the world, but we still have to live here. Hopefully the actual apocalypse will be this laid-back.