Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Movie Review
Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“So, what are you doing with the rest of your life?” “Catching up on some me time, finding God, maybe move around some chairs.” That’s neighbors Penny (Keira Knightley) and Dodge (Steve Carell) getting acquainted while the world only has three weeks left before an asteroid crashes into earth effectively destroying the entire planet in the comedy film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
After his wife runs off leaving him alone, Dodge finds himself unable to break out of his boring, daily routine of going to work and selling insurance (there’s actually been an increase in interest in the Armageddon package from his customers). One night while Dodge is fixating on his old high school sweetheart, he notices Penny crying outside his window. It seems she missed the final flight to England and now has no chance to get back home to see her family and spend the End of Days with them. Being emotionally exhausted, Penny falls into a deep sleep on Dodge’s couch and is still sound asleep when Dodge goes to work the next morning.
The next night a riot breaks out in Dodge and Penny’s neighborhood and the mayhem is heading right for their apartment complex. The unlikely pair flee in Penny’s car and end up taking a road trip to A) reunite Dodge with his high school sweetheart and B) get Penny to someone Dodge claims has a plane and can fly her home to her family before the world ends.
Sweet, charming and very funny, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a dark, romantic, comedy/drama that has the best and most original spin on the End of Days storyline in a movie in years.
Steve Carell is hilarious as Dodge, the straight-laced, awkward, downright square-peg guy who has always lived his life looking for a secure safety net and is finally forced by the impending Armageddon to take the adventure of his life by looking to rekindle and reclaim the love of his life. The scene where he tries to tell his maid he doesn’t need her to clean his apartment anymore because there’s no real point and she mistakes it for him firing her is laugh out loud hysterical. Carell is also very effective in the tender, quiet scenes in the film between Dodge and Penny.
Keira Knightley gives one her best performances as Penny, the spirited, sensitive extrovert who at first is nothing but trouble and a pain in the butt for poor Dodge but soon becomes a great and much needed travel companion. The scene where she finally gets a chance to call her family and talk to them when it’s still unclear if she will ever get home is sure to bring a lump to the audience’s throat.
The film is well-paced and has great cameos from some familiar actors – which will not be revealed here. It also has a fantastic soundtrack with the use of some of the best songs from the 1960s and early 1970s which both enhance and provide emotional depth to the film.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a dark romantic comedy that begs the question: if you only had a few weeks or days left before the End of Days, what would you do and who would you do it with? Make sure this summer to spend some time with Dodge and Penny for some good laughs, a sweet romance, and a few surprises along the way.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World hits theaters on June 22, 2012 and is rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence.