Seeking a Friend for the End of the World FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
Mandate Pictures, Focus Features, Anonymous Content Productions and Indian Paintbrush present an R rated, 101 minute, comedy, drama, romance, directed and written by Lorene Scafaria with a theater release date of June 22, 2012.
Dodge (Steve Carell) is in his car with his wife Linda (Nancy Carell) when they hear the news from a radio announcer (Brad Morris) that there are only 21 days left until the world ends. Next thing we know Linda is out of the car and running away. To where we don’t know but we may have an idea later in the story! No phones’ working but Dodge is still driving to his job at Metropolitan Consolidated Insurance, trying to continue his life as normal even without his wife. For most people life has no meaning but when Dodge returns back to his apartment he finds his maid Elsa (Tonita Castro) still showing up to clean his apartment. Nothing seems to make sense, 14 days left according to the anchorman (Mark Moses) on television, the sky is falling and Dodge attends his friends Diane(Connie Britton) and Warren’s (Rob Corddry) dinner party only to fall into the scene of sex, drugs, alcohol and a very strange woman named Karen (Melanie Lynskey).
Where better to be than in his own apartment with his memories of the past and a walk down memory lane of his one true love, Olivia. All is in perspective for him until he notices a young woman crying on his fire escape. He invites her in, discovers she is his downstairs neighbor named Penny (Keira Knightley) who lives with her boyfriend Owen (Adam Brody), soon all is changed forever. They become friends, he discovers that Penny has had his mail for quite some time, one letter in particular from Olivia professing her true love for Dodge. Dodge goes on a glass cleaner drinking binge in the park ends up with a dog named Sorry (Aleister) and later flees his apartment building due to loitering and riots with the dog and Penny but not Owen. I would think that the world would have been a bit more insane if everyone knew they were going to die! Then again we all die anyway so maybe the world just accepts it! The film is strong on dialogue yet very weak in effects or photography but for me it did not matter since the writing is so well done.
Dodge and Penny have a plan which starts off in her car but doesn’t quite end there. She will help him find Olivia and he will take her to Frank’s (Martin Sheen) place since he has a plane and can get her home to her family. They make some stops along the way some humorous and some not so much but all meaningful to the story line showing the different sides to the human mentality. You may laugh, you may cry, you may jump out of your seat but through it all you should definitely question, what if? In the 60’s we were moments away from the effects of the Cuban Missile Crisis and with the state of the world today it would not take much, especially not an asteroid, to end the world as we know it. What would modern day people do if they suddenly had no choice than to live life as it was 60 to 70 years ago? Along their journey both Dodge and Penny discover many things about themselves and the life they live in. That sometimes even the most unlikely of situations can become likely! One of the best things I liked about this film is that it really makes you look at your life as if you are placed in that situation and if you don’t then maybe your life now is meant for a change.
After borrowing a smart car from Penny’s old flame Speck (Derek Duke) in Camden they finally enter Somerset where all the loose ends get tied, realizing all they need is the air that they breathe. In a touching final moment good night, good luck and God bless. I absolutely enjoyed this story because I found meaning in it, hats off to the direction. I think the younger generation out for a Carell film full of laughs will be disappointed so word of mouth by them may hurt the box office after the first weekend but if they really want to discover the meaning of life than it may be time to grow up, take responsibility and realize that this planet we live on is fragile and if we don’t support it, take care of it and looks for ways to strengthen it than we won’t need an asteroid to take away our tomorrow. Yes Carell and Knightley is an unlikely couple but then again who cares, it’s the end of the world as we know it and anything could happen. After the first 40 minutes of the film the story definitely takes a more serious turn but in my opinion not for the worse but rather for the better. I hope people turn out for this film and pay attention to the story line and the meaning behind it since for sure it will leave you thinking about what matters while enticing a vast amount of emotions along the way. Written with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.