“Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World” – Early Review (POSITIVE)
The apocalypse is starting to become a run of the mill theme lately, could it be the year of 2012 slowly coming to a close? “Melancholia” & “4:44 Last Day On Earth” are just a couple of recent indie flick’s to use this theme. Next year, if we’re all still around, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg will make their directorial pairing debut in a comedy simply titled, “The Apocalypse”. People associate end of the world films as part of a running engine to a big budget blockbuster, but with Lorene Scafaria’s dark comedy, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, takes that reusable theme, and makes it something more personal & emotional.
An asteroid named “Matilda” is on a collision course towards Earth. The space shuttle “Deliverance” was destroyed, remaining to be Earth’s last great hope to save us all. In three weeks the world will come to an absolute end. What would you do if your life and the world were doomed? Dodge (Steve Carell) decides to spend his time searching for his long lost love from high school. Alone with no one by his side, Dodge comes into contact with his unassuming, free spirited neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley), she decides to join him on the road to help him find his long lost love. When you’re on a road trip, during the midst of the end of days, you might come across some interesting characters; Penny & Dodge have their share of weirdos.
There are only a few minor issues that I had with the film, none of which take me away from really enjoying the movie altogether. But let’s start with the positive, for one; the movie treats people in general dealing with the apocalypse in a very realistic manner. I mean, if I was living during the middle of all this chaos, I would go to a party, where whatever I never got to wear, do all kinds of insane drugs, drink until my hearts content, because really will it matter in the end? Forgive the pun…or don’t. I also liked the fact that even with some scenes going to chaotic and border line morbid, it bounces back with small things that draws the audience back. This is something so minuscule, but at the same time comforting, on Dodge & Penny’s road trip they drive through a neighborhood, and we see a man mowing his lawn; it’s a basic, normal, chore you do, and sometimes you need to do something like that to calm yourself, by having that voice in the back of your head say, ‘It’s ok, it’s just ok’.
Carell & Knightley are a terrific pairing, the trailer for this movie didn’t give much of that a way, and that was the one big thing I was worried going into this movie. I’m not much of a fan of Keira, but I love Steve Carell, so to have her paired with him just seemed odd. Their relationship from the very first scene sets up the rest of the journey perfectly. It’s a quasi-Oscar/Felix relationship, but Penny states that sometime polar opposites make the better pairing. Another thing I really liked were the cameos this movie was thrusting upon us; Patton Oswalt, Rob Corddry, T.J. Miller, Gillian Jacobs, and William Peterson are all great in their brief appearances. Peterson especially is a wild character, and his presence is completely and utterly insane. But, the one I think everyone will like the most is the cameo near the end of the film, 100% unexpected, and it was a nice little cameo that tugs on those heartstrings.
I noticed that some critics are all complaining on a similar thing, that the movies treatment of doing a romantic comedy set during the end of the world is done in bad taste. While certain things in the film done by certain supporting characters may come off in bad taste, I think the mixed emotions this movie gives off helps show it’s realistic approach. There’s no special effects, it’s not needed, it’s about people, and the choices they make; choices based off things they never had the opportunity to do in their past, now are given the chance to do so. That’s what the movie is really about, and that’s what I liked about it the most.