Summer Movie Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Elizabeth Golden

What would you do if you knew the world was ending in three weeks? Would you riot in the streets? Would you give up hope? Or would you take every precaution to stay alive in a world filled with inevitable death?

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World tells the heartwarming story of a world with no choice but to end and the people who change their lives at the end of their life.

The film centers around Dodge (Steve Carell), an unlucky insurance man, who learns his wife has left him for another man. After the world learns an asteroid, 70 miles wide, will collide with earth in less than a month, Dodge ironically continues his life without a single smile on his face. He then comes across happy-go-lucky Penny (Keira Knightly) who cures her worries with drugs. These two form an unlikely pair as they run from rioters, steal cars, get arrested and adopt a dog, arguably the cutest part of the film. Through the process of the world ending, Dodge discovers his true self and what he had been missing in life.

Writer and debut director Lorene Scafaria brilliantly portrayed a world without tomorrow. The story touched every heart in the audience while adding comedy and irony to an otherwise dismal film. This dark comedy managed to evoke every possible emotion as Steve Carell never fails to entertain with his stone cold expressions and dry sense of humor.

Keira Knightly also does a fabulous job of being nonchalant while developing an underlying layer of sensitivity. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World could be considered one of the best performances of both actors’ careers. Powerful performances and stylistic choices encompass this film from start to finish, leaving the audience both watery-eyed and smiling.

The only noticeable negative of the film would have to be the lack of character development; the central point is not on the world ending but on the characters who make their last moments worth watching. Scafaria sometimes delves into the story and forgets about the characters. A big transition felt missing from the middle. Dodge and Penny barely knew each other, and two weeks later, they were in love. The script forgot to include the whole falling in love part.  Even with this lack of a transition, the relationship in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World still manages to trigger an emotional reaction.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Both characters begin to drive with no destination in site, but in their journey they come across the most remarkable and eccentric people who otherwise would go unknown. This film ultimately is about the journey, the characters and those who make life worth living, not the inevitable ending.

Speaking of the ending, Scafaria was left with no choice of endings unless he decided to pull a romantic comedy out of nowhere and miraculously fix everything in the end. An ending so predictable, yet so brilliant. The dialogue in this scene is what truly makes the final moments so memorable.

Despite the awkward worded name and minimal lack of character development, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a beautiful portrayal of a world without hope and characters just attempting to find meaning in life. If you are looking for an entertaining night out, this is not the film for you, but if you want to watch an astonishing masterpiece of dialogue, you will really enjoy this film.

What would you do if you knew the world was ending in three weeks? Would you drown your sorrows with alcohol and drugs? Would you make choices you won’t have the ability to regret? Or would you surround yourself with those who mean more to you than anything. If you had no choice but inevitable death, how would you react? Think about it.

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