Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson reviews the movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
I took a break from the hugely publicized, blockbuster and big name actor driven movies this week and went to Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. The movie’s biggest attractions are the two main actors, Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.
The movie opens with an announcement that there has been a failed attempt to destroy an asteroid that is destined to collide with Earth. The asteroid is so big that it will wipe out all existence and is estimated to hit Earth 21 days after the announcement. This causes a dramatic change in how people live their lives, including Dodge’s wife Linda (Nancy Carell) to immediately leave Dodge (Steve Carell).
Dodge continues to live his life as if nothing has changed, going to work and parties. However, an encounter with a distraught neighbor named Penny (Keira Knightley) ultimately ends up in him rethinking how he wants to live the last days of his life. This conversation and a downtown riot that threatens the apartment, in which Dodge and Penny live, prompt him to track down a long lost love.
He takes Penny along with him because of a need for the car she owns and the friendship that was quickly built from the long conversation they had shared the night before.
Fun Fact: This is Director Lorene Scafaria’s directorial debut. She also wrote the script for the movie Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
What I Liked:
The concept of the world meeting its ultimate demise is nothing new and someone falling love during this period is another worn out idea. What I found appealing was that the world was going to end. There was no superhero, government plan or answer of any kind. It was game over for humankind.
This obviously drives people to do whatever they feel like, but it appears Dodge has a problem with all of this. He doesn’t act out, but starts to feel lonely. He just wants a friend, someone to talk to for the remaining days.
I see this as another reason he grabs Penny before he leaves to find his lost love. He doesn’t do it because he loves her and he’s not even entirely sure he likes her. She has two things he needs, a car and a personality. From this come a friendship and ultimately the love of his life.
You’re right in thinking this is obviously the end game of the story, but the way it plays out had me feeling connected with the character Dodge. I’m not an overly emotional person and I am quick to admit I’ve only cried at only one movie, Rudy. This movie can now be added to that list. It is a beautifully told story.
What I Didn’t Like:
I can be nitpicky in the examination of what I didn’t like about a movie that I have fallen for. Much like the honeymoon stage in a relationship, I believe there is nothing wrong with a film and have to really search for something that bothered me. This one, however, stuck out like a sore thumb.
The language was pretty harsh, with several “F” words used. I didn’t get the reason as to why nor did I enjoy it. It didn’t add to the story and it seemed the words were added for shock value.
I’ve always tried to find the reasons behind why the dialogue might include harsh language. Sometimes, it is expected, as in a raunchy comedy. Other times it is due to the setting of the scene or movie in general, like a war movie.
I didn’t get the feeling that either situation presented itself in this movie.
GO = Go See It!
Go see it in theater and then go buy it on DVD and add it to your collection. I loved this movie because it made me feel so many different emotions. You also felt the chemistry between Knightley and Carell.
I have not seen a movie like this in a couple years and know it is one that I will go buy as soon as it comes out on DVD. I would suggest going with a date considering it is mainly a love story.
Next up: Magic Mike