Score = B
Seeking a friend for the end of the world (2012)
(Drama–Comedy-Romance / R)
Review by: Kisho Wolfe
Logline: What would you do with less than a month to live?
Lorene Scafaria. Ever heard of that name before? Me neither. She is the director and also screenwriter for this off-beat film. She’s an up and coming triple threat—writer, actress, and singer– out of New Jersey. Her work spans throughout a bit of television, theater, shorts and DVD releases, but this is her first official commercial outing involving her screenwriting and directorial talents.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a cynically comedic approach to the inevitable apocalyptic end of our planet; centered on the theme of love. Dodge (Steve Carrell) is a nice guy with a safe job, in a safe apartment, with a safe wife. Well, at least until news of the impending asteroid approaching earth seemed to “wake up” his wife, causing her to haul ass and never be seen again. Dodge is a tad distraught about his wife just up and leaving, especially with only three weeks left before the end of the world. However; Dodge is a bit of an internalized individual, so not much emotion is displayed about things until he befriends one of his neighbors. Penny (Keira Knightley) is his neighbor from downstairs, with a “wicked case of hypersomnia,” and has just broken up with her boyfriend, Owen, (Adam Brody) and naturally finds herself crying out on the fire escape of our protagonist. The two bond for a night and Dodge briefly talks about the one that got away (not the wife) before walking Penny to her door the next day, only to discover she’s had some of his mail for the last three years. In that pile of mail was a letter from his long-lost love and Penny urges him forward to search for and be with the girl of his dreams during earth’s final days.
This film managed a unique combination of charm and raunchiness in the same breadth. The charm was a man who sought the love of his life, in addition to the magic that happened with his new best friend. The raunchy was mankind’s incessant need to go to extremes in the face of danger– whether that need be rioting or having a flat-out orgy at your friendly neighborhood restaurant—it tends to speak volumes at what most are really thinking behind that society-masked filter. Everything moved along at a decent pace in addition to the actors’ performances capturing the essence of their characters. Of course, can you really go wrong with Keira Knightly and Adam Brody (even though he was only in the movie for about five minutes) in your roster? I think not!
Although the movie was not a box office smash, (most likely due to the lack of marketing) this film was a pretty decent ride from Ms. Scafaria. On the flip side, I would have liked to have seen more of Penny’s back-story in the movie. Aside from meeting up with one of her old flames, Speck, (Derek Luke) her character felt a bit skeletal in terms of content. Overall, I give Seeking a Friend for the End of the World a solid B for its comedic presence and the over arching theme of love conquering all… even a giant asteroid named Matilda.