Most cinematic outings for the end of days usually feature explosions, big set pieces and a general scale of destruction that is usually reserved for the likes of a Michael Bay film.

And almost 100% of the time the proceedings are set in New York or Los Angeles.  Main characters are usually the Presidents and army soldiers.

We never get to see the effects of Earths imminent destruction on the everyday individual, that reside in the suburbs.

Fortunately, Seeking a Friend for The End of The World goes some way to address this issues and that essentially makes the film all the more enjoyable.

The film concentrates on the character called Dodge (played by Steve Carell) – an insurance broker, whose wife literally runs away when it’s confirmed that the world will be destroyed by an oncoming meteor called Matilda and all hope in saving humanity is lost.

With modern life in chaos, people are reacting to the end of days in different ways – some are having orgies, taking drugs.  Others are committing suicide and in the most extreme cases, are hiring hitmen to assinate them.

The plot essentially see’s the newly single Dodge meeting his newly single neighbour Penny, a lonely young British girl trapped in America. As they talk over their lives, Penny convinces Dodge to seek out the one girl he loved who “got away”. What ensues is a road trip across suburban America against the backdrop of imminent world destruction.

Steve Carell is on his usual reliable form as everyday man – while he does have the occasional scene were he flips out, he mostly somber here as seen Little Miss Sunshine.

Kiera Knightley, who in my opinion is improving with every film I see her in, is quirky and optimistic as Penny.  In fact, the nature of both leading characters are somewhat reminiscent to those in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with each actor taking on a role which is usually against type.

The real star of the film though is first time director Lorene Scafaria and it’s quite frankly amazing that she has managed to produce a film that balances so many conflicting emotions and ideas so well.

Against what is essentially the most depressing thing that can happen in anyones lifetimes, there are some amusing ideas in the film that help lift the sense of impending doom.

Asking the question of how everyone would react if they knew the world would end next month, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World presents quite a contrast of cases.  For every suicide there’s a swinger, for every crying lost soul there’s a liberated couple that randomly decide to bring heroin to dinner parties.

The film is certainly not to everyone’s tastes and those expecting an all out wacky comedy may find it a little jarring in places.  But accepting the film for what it is – a stark drama with some dark comedy on side, will offer the viewer a more rewarding experience.

Personally, I enjoyed it and if the world was to end tomorrow,  I’d be glad that I managed to see this.

Verdict: [rating=4]

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.

  • Boris

    Nice review.  Really looking forward to seeing this.