Seeing as its 2012 and the Mayans predicted that we only have a few more months to live, it’s no surprise that a movies, books, television have embraced this whole “end of the world” thing. Despite the fact that most of us are all brushing it off as silly superstition, there has to be a tiny knot of worry in us all. It could happen. Anything could happen. It’s scary to think what would happen and how society would react to it. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World explores that whole notion, but as a comedy. Because really, wouldn’t you rather go down smiling?
In Seeking a Friend, it’s announced that the world will end in a couple weeks. The story follows Dodge (Steve Carell), a man whose wife left him right after hearing the “end of the world” announcement. Sad and lonely, Dodge’s friends try to cheer him by inviting him to a party and setting him up with a mutual friend. With only days left to live, people are living it up, doing everything they never had a chance to do. All this is funnily explained by Patton Oswalt in a small cameo. But Dodge refuses to be set up, explaining to Connie Britton’s character, that he doesn’t want to spend the last days of his life getting to know someone he might like. At home, reminiscing about a past love, he meets the crying girl, named Penny (Keira Knightley). The two instantly bond and later embark on a road trip to help Dodge find his long lost love and help Penny find a way to get back to her family before it all ends.
Steve Carell and Keira Knightley make a fun and endearing team. They’re one of the reasons why I found this movie appealing. It wasn’t the typical rom-com, or even a rom-com, just a story about two friends trying to do one last thing before the world ends. That’s what makes most of the movie work. On their road trip to fulfill their joint mission, they stop at a few different places, meeting new people or old friends and acquaintances. It gave the film a bit of an episodic feel, travelling from place to place, person to person. Each encounter is pretty funny (and pretty morbid). Somewhere in the middle, it got a little slow but it picked up once Penny and Dodge moved on.
The mood started to shift toward the end of the film, and it drew the film slightly off balance. It started to hit rom-com territory, and I got a bit worried. I can believe Carell and Knightley as friends, but as romantically involved? I didn’t feel that chemistry between them right away. Luckily, it somehow managed to work and led to ending that I really loved.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a funny, sweet and sometimes interesting film, mostly thanks to its leads. I totally recommend seeing it, either in theaters or waiting to rent it to watch at home. Something to cheer you up… or not before we have to deal with our own little apocalypse that likely won’t happen but still might.
Rating: 6/10 ★★★★★★
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is now playing in theaters.