What if Bruce Willis had failed in his asteroid-demolishing mission? What if loveable losers like Steve Carrel were faced the prospect of dying alone when the Earth is faced with imminent destruction in a matter of weeks? Those are the questions that the high concept film, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, tries to answer.
Not for everyone, Seeking a Friend is a genre bending dark comedy romance drama. Faced with unexpected loneliness – a theme heavily explored in this film – Dodge (Carell) treats the upcoming apocalypse with an almost boring resignation, going about his normal routine as the irony laden occupation of insurance salesman.
Seize The Day
Despite the insistence of his friends that now is the perfect time to do anything without worry of consequence, Dodge seems content to curl up and wait out the last days. That all changes when he has a run in with his young neighbor Penny (Keira Knightly) who, it turns out, may have been partially responsible for ruining his life. This launches the two of them into a last minute quest to reunite Penny with her family and find Dodge’s lost love before they are all obliterated.
Rioters, Orgies and Overenthusiastic Cops
Fighting their way through hoards of rioters, orgies, and overenthusiastic cops, the two travelers learn a lot about life, love, and loneliness. The viewer is left to fight through plot holes, a choppy story, and inconsistent tone.
Seeking a Friend is never quite sure what it is – a dark comedy? A poignant love story? An examination of the human condition? Some things, like why cell phones suddenly stop working and why nobody seems to care about using the last few weeks to come up with some way to stop the impending doom, exist more for convenience of plot than anything else. Many of the scenes, also, feel a bit disjointed, sometimes jumping from one to the next without any real explanation.
Is It All Bad?
No. The unlikely pairing of Carell and Knightly creates a wonderful, if unexpected, chemistry that remains strong enough throughout to keep everything else together. Even if the movie is guilty of undecidedly switching up the emotions, when it is focused on the emotional aspects it is genuinely sweet. When it’s going for a laugh, it is genuinely funny. It even makes you wonder how you and the people you know would react if the end of the world was announced tomorrow.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that it wasn’t quite what I had expected, but it definitely works, and that’s especially important in film like this one. For all its apparent technical faults, there is still more than enough to this movie to make it enjoyable and perhaps even above average. It has a distinct flavor to it and I could see it gathering a nice following as a chick flick for the crowd who hates chick flicks.
Seeking a Friend is currently in limited release.