Film Review: Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)
The title and premise of this may be essentially depressing, that plays on the inevitability of what is coming and how we are likely going to react, but it does manage to give the viewer a real sense of optimism despite what is a forgone conclusion. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World isn’t as much about the end of the world more about reflecting on the good times we have had in life and, as the title suggests, ultimately finding someone special to share them and their remaining days with.
Everyone we meet in writer/director Lorene Scafaria’s pre-apocalyptic romantic-comedy-drama, seems or acts normal, even the extraordinarily ordinary central character, aptly named Dodge (Steve Carell) who is an insurance salesman, playing his usual on-screen persona. Everyone seems to be parting like it’s 1999 but Dodge has chosen almost by default to see out his final days in a sense of quiet desperation. With there only being three weeks left before an asteroid wipes out the Earth with everyone and everything on it. Dodge can’t shake his ennui before the world-end is upon him in less than three weeks.
Tonely it is a bit all over the place, starting as a comedy with many recognisable famous faces popping up as quirky characters providing many clever gags about the state of society in the weeks leading up to the end of the world. All of a sudden we then shift and go for a more emotional impact, but somehow Lorene Scafaria for the most part manages to get away with it, mainly due to it’s sense of sincerity throughout.
It almost hurts me saying this but the film benefits tremendously from the two leads and their chemistry together and its possibly the first film since Bend It Like Beckham that I haven’t hated Keira Knightley. Neither of them are outstanding performances but its the simplicity of the characters and the performance that make the duo very charming and watchable. Its difficult to forget the impending doom but there is somewhat of a positive side to the cold hard reality, it’s a pleasant, witty and heartfelt little movie just like Nick and Norah ,it’s just so likeable, even with its slight lull in the middle as it turns into a generic road trip movie.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ is refreshing and has a unique look into human emotions when faced with their certain death, and while the subject of the Apocalypse has primarily been saturated by the big budget action and horror genres this romantic dramedy manages to stand out from the crowd due to the glimpses into genuine people’s reactions to such a disaster. Both leads undergo an emotional transformation learning the true meaning of life and what it means to love someone while contending with their imminent deaths.
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Stars: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley and Melanie Lynskey
Production Co: Anonymous Content, Indian Paintbrush, Mandate Pictures