Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Film) Review

A tenuous link to the lady of the moment sure but what can we do? She needs to make more movies.

In the meantime, we had to suffer through some Keira Knightley borderline Manic Pixie Dream Girl shit just to get a moment in the company of greatness. (Sorry, KK you know I love you).

I think I’ve got a good one to go out with next week, so here’s hoping this isn’t the last you hear from us for Melanie Lynskey Month. We want a bang, not a damp squib after all.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

IMDB Synopsis

As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.

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My Review

What do you do when you find out you’ve got twelve days until the planet explodes, killing everybody forever? Leave your boring relationship for one, I would wager. Which is exactly what Steve Carell‘s wife does because she should be allowed to live as she sees fit right, even if it is too little too late?

Right.

So Steve’s Dodge is moping about with a broken heart and who really cares? Not his friends, who are keen to set him up with their single friend Karen (our Queen), at a party where they’re all having heroin for dinner – which is something I would totally go for myself if I were facing the pending Apocalypse.

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Karen rocks up dripping in jewels, stating that she’s wearing everything she “never got a chance to” – and my heart swoons because that’s also something I would totally do. Her coquettish attempts (and beautiful face) fail to woo dreary old Dodge because he’s clearly mad and not remotely worthy. Instead he goes home and accidentally meets his neighbour Penny (my mum’s name, so a good solid one).

Penny (Knightley) is going through a rocky patch with her boyfriend and ends up staying at Dodge’s overnight to avoid him. During this bonding sesh, Penny accidentally drops his wife in it by asking after Dodge’s roommate and her boyfriend, the one she seemed so happy with. Ooopsy.

Could this be just the push Dodge needs to get his arse in gear and out there cramming as much LIFE as possible into the short time he has left, I wonder? If only he had a more concrete reason, I don’t know, LIKE AN OVERDUE LETTER FROM THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY?!!

Cue an odd couple road trip across country to get Dodge to his one time love Olivia (?) and Penny back to her family, since she missed her flight to see join them while she was rowing with her ex. We’ve all been there, amirite?

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The dog told the best fucking jokes

Penny and Dodge meet a variety of characters on the road, some they knew way back when, some new friends but the journey becomes one of discovery as time runs out for both of them, and the world as they know it.

Will Dodge shed his Insurance Man sensibilities and his broken heart to find meaning in his last days? Will Penny, the hopeless and eternal romantic, finally find the connection she’s been searching for her entire adult life? What do you think, eh?

SAFFTEOFW means well. It has heart and it’s not dreadful, but am I the only one creeped out by the fact Keira Knightley is a good twenty years younger than Steve Carell? I mean, shit, this is nothing new in Hollywood casting or in life, I guess but what a fucking surprise he chose to bang his much younger neighbour on the eve of the end of the world, rather than a woman closer to his own age, you know? Snooze.

I guess that says a lot about where my head is right now, and Carell’s character actually acknowledges the age gap just after they’ve done it (of course) but he was still a creep, sorry. The character of Dodge never really does it for me anyway. He’s more 40 Year Old Virgin here that usual but without the genuine likability of Andy. He’s just meh AF.

Guess you’re less fussy when you’re just looking for someone to bed down with as the world implodes.

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I call this “The World’s about to end, grab Grandma’s best blanket” chic

Knightley is actually the best one in this (apart from ML and Connie Britton), though it seems to me as though half way through production she was told to rein in the pseudo-kook (and I’m glad). At times, her skills could be called into question and the whole hopeless romantic English rose characterisation has been done to death (she wants a lasting love like her parents have! She carries records with her everywhere she goes!).

Penny is inoffensive enough in the end though, once she calms down. I enjoy it greatly when she’s being shouted at by her boyfriend while she manoeuvres out of a parking space so she leaves him to face an angry mob. Get it girl.

In fact, on this topic, I think the message would have been way stronger if she’d – SPOILER – ended up alone, discovering that the greatest love of her life was actually herself. You’re welcome, Hollywood.

All in all, the concept is good but it should have been more fun. Way, way more fun.

My Rating

2.5/5. Pretty forgettable. Imagine this in the hands of ML in the KK role and someone like Mark Duplass as Dodge?

What does Jillian think of this bad boy? Would she shack up with it to see out her final moments, or would she rather be alone? Find out here

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Seeking a sofa for the end of the world
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