Dean is a new online writer. He usually writes movie and music reviews.
The End of the World
The end of the world is near as a devastating meteor hurtles towards the Earth. With three weeks until untimely destruction, Dodge (Steve Carell) goes about his days as if his life was not about to end. He continues going to work, being stuck in traffic, and selling insurance. Even during a catastrophic event, Dodge deals with everyday inconveniences. After his wife leaves him completely alone, Dodge remembers "the one who got away" and what could have been.
With the help of his neighbor, Penny (Keira Knightley), Dodge seeks the opportunity to chase the love of his life, all while Dodge promises to get Penny on a plane to see her family one last time before death.
Time for a Road Trip
Of course, this is a rom-com road trip film, so the two encounter wacky characters along their way that lead to outlandish scenarios.
With films such as The Avengers, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Hunger Games, it is easy to see why this film may have been overlooked. It's not surprising that Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was a box-office bomb on its release. With a budget of $10 million, the film only made $3 million in its opening weekend.
Even if it is not your typical end of the worlds film with a larger than life protagonist to save the day, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a film that everybody should see. With a few good laughs, a lot of heartfelt moments, and a unique twist on the apocalypse, this is a film to be enjoyed.
What's There to Like?
The end of the world could lead people to do drastic things. In most films, we would see a hero save the day. However, this film is grounded in the idea of, "we're f**ked."
This is what I adore so much about this film. It is not about the meteor. It is not about how the human population can stop it. It is about human nature and what we would do if this event would happen. What would people do during a life-altering event?
Lorene Scafaria, the writer/director, sought out to create a film that "tells the story of boy meets girl with a real ticking clock."
After the events of 9/11, Scafaria became inspired to tell this sort of story. People acted in unusual ways. They either got their lives together, or they went off the deep end. Scafaria experienced a death in her family, a break-up, and a new relationship in her circumstances.
The event left Scafaria with a feeling of loneliness. She began to get back in touch with some of her old friends. Isn't it funny how certain events will change your perspective on life? You could be walking through life without a care in the world and one day it all changes. You realize what you have been missing. That is exactly what happened with Scafaria. The attacks on the Twin Towers had a huge impact on Scafaria's life and relationships.
The typical rom-com will end happily ever after.
You know the story.
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Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Something comes in between them. The break-up. And they inevitably chase one another down to declare their undying love before riding off into the sunset.
Now with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, you get something different. Obviously, Scafaria wanted to make a rom-com with a ticking clock. She begs the question, "what if I took forever off the table?"
I like romantic comedies. Although, I hate how cliched they can become if they are by the books. Formulaic is the downfall of a rom-com. This gets boring.
This is what is so appealing for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. There is a ticking clock. Throughout the film, we are reminded that doom is around the corner by how much time is left before the meteor hits.
The film does follow the norms of romantic films because the two decide that they want to be with each other rather than chasing last goodbyes. However, there is one aspect that I love so much.
There is no happily ever after for Dodge and Penny. It does not matter what they do. They do not have forever together. There is no optimism in their love story. And the accumulation of the story doesn't leave you feeling hopeful but rather depressed.
However, there is a point to be made after the soul-crushing ending. It's never too late. It took the end of the world for next-door neighbors to find each other and fall in love. It took the end of the world for Dodge to break free from his daily routine that has left him full of regret.
That is where the heart of this story lies. There is obviously no hope for the two lovers. And the underlying optimism about fresh starts is overtaken by colliding emotions because it seems too late.
Now, it shouldn't take a meteor hurtling towards the Earth to get your life together and do what you always wanted to. It is- at that point- too late. There are characters in this film that handle life differently in there last couple of weeks. There are suicidal characters who hire someone to assist them in suicide. There are people who party out the rest of their days.
This why the characters of Dodge and Penny are so prominent. They decide to do the things they always wanted. They live the rest of their days with no regrets. And even if it is too late and they don't have forever; in their head, it is not too late because they inevitably found each other. End of the world or not, they fell in love and were happy. Even if it was in their last week.
It's Amazing Thanks to the Cast
This isn't the best film you will ever see. It is marketed as a comedy with few laughs. And as I said before, it is not very optimistic. But even with the low points, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a film that deserves to be appreciated.
Steve Carell and Keira Knightley play the characters perfectly. I have always loved Steve Carell's dry-bone humor when he plays the "down on his luck" characters. I think this character is a little deeper than a lot of his characters that he plays because he is accepting death and mistakes. The character is full of regret and decides to come to terms with that to be happy.
The "what if's" of life can drive people to a life that is not fulfilled. We get so ate up with the past and what could have been that we forget to live our lives. We have to remember that life moves forward. You have to move with it or you're going to be left behind.
An Underrated Gem
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a heartfelt film that can be funny at times and sad at another with an interesting take on the end of the world. We are grounded in characters that are like us rather than larger-than-life heroes. It will have you thinking about where you are in your own life. It will have you wanting more time to spend with your loved ones or to do the things you have always wanted. That is why Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is an underrated gem that is not talked about enough.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.