Finding the Right Friend in the Nick of Time: A Movie Review on Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 101 mins
Common Sense Rating: 17+

       “This ain’t the Ark, It’s the Titanic!”
(Rob Corddry)

Imagine if a large meteor was on a collision course with planet, Armageddon style. If you skip the Bruce Willis-led heroics and that catchy Steven Tyler song, what do you think the general public would do if such a news revelation came to light? Director/writer Lolene Scafaria gives us a look at what it could look like in the new film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

After the last effort to stop a large asteroid from colliding with Earth fails, it is determined that everyone has only 3 weeks left to live. Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell), an insurance salesman with his share of personal issues, struggles to make sense with what has happened to him and is ultimately unhappy. He eventually meets & befriends his neighbor, Penny (Keira Knightley), who realizes that she will never able to see her family again. In the depths of his sadness, Petersen finds a love letter from an old girlfriend buried in old mail and believes that reconnecting with her will be able to cure his loneliness. However, when a riot forces the neighbors to flee for their safety in Penny’s car, Dodge promises to help reunite Penny with her family if she can help him meet with his old girlfriend. And thus, the story begins…

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is an overall well handled story & does a great job of treating the end of the world circumstance. There are a wide variety of coping mechanisms that are exhibited by each character, whether they are main, supporting, guest, or background characters. This allows for the story to seem believable and opens the door for some hilarious consequences. In contrast to a movie like Armageddon where the emphasis would be on how this would be stopped, this movie takes a look at how the average civilian would handle the news of a meteor speeding towards Earth.

The performances were really enjoyable. Steve Carell and Keira Knightley did well in playing their respective roles. At first glance, some would wonder why anyone would put Carell & Knightley together in a movie. However, the chemistry between the two throughout the film felt really organic & is a credit to their talent. The film also features great performances from a wide variety of talent such as Rob Corddry, Connie Britton, & T.J Miller, which really add to the story. The movie has a couple of minor plot holes & does have an episode of M.I.S., which is Movie Identity Syndrome. The movie tone switches unexpectedly to where you can almost see the line between 2 completely different movies.

In comparison to the other end of world movies, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a pleasant movie that makes light of a perilous situation while making you think, “What would I do if there were only three weeks left to live?” There are plenty of surprises, heart, & laughs on this realistic pseudo “trip to Oz”-like journey. Despite its minor flaws, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a well conceived dramedy that’s worth taking a trip. B

Fade to black…


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