The romantic comedy ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ is a clever refreshing project that will get you thinking about life and will leave you feeling melancholic. The way this movie unravels either directly or indirectly transforms it into a kind of dark comedy, since after all we are talking about death. The subject the film explores is interesting, since the Earth being blown to pieces is quite a real threat we all forget about, but most of the comedy falls out of the film and it becomes dramatic and sad leaving you with a poignant feeling.
An asteroid threatens to destroy planet Earth and chaos spreads as everyone realizes they only have less than a month to fulfill their lives. Dodge (Steve Carell) an insurance salesman is left to end his days alone, when his wife runs away in a panic. Nostalgically he decides to look for his high school sweetheart, in order to do this he enlists the help of his newly met ditzy neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley). In this final road trip they get to know each other as well as themselves and try to cope with the reality that’s in front of them.
The film does have a good chunk of comedy, but what makes it not so funny is the subject matter; this is an eminent reality we all face, death, but even more so the threat that this could really happen to our planet. What I really like about the film is the way it goes about exploring the subject, we see how differently everyone copes with the crude reality; some people still try to lead normal lives, while others go completely berserk.
Director Lorene Scarfaria told us in our interview she’s always been curious about love and relationships, and after doing ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ which was a story about eternal love; she decided to explore the opposite side of the spectrum and this was the result. Having Carell and Knightley together in this film is genius; they personalize perfectly the mix of funny and dramatic moments. They are an unlikely pair that somehow fit just right in this film, as they both provide different aspects of life and acting styles. We are districted from humanity’s insignificance in this vast universe by their sweet stories and the ideals and hopes they still have despite of the ticking clock.
Another thing many might enjoy from this film are the various cameos of other actors throughout, so keep an eye out for that. The truth about this film is that despite of some of the wacky scenarios and sporadic funny moments, it’s not enough to save us from the melancholy and sadness of the bigger picture. If you are feel like exploring a mix of humorous sadness, this is the film to do just that, but it’s best to watch it at home when it comes out on DVD.