What do people do when they have prior knowledge of their impending death?… or perhaps even the end of the world? Clearly, most people would panic and start acting crazy, riots would ensue, office drones would jump from the twentieth floor of their office buildings. What would you do if you knew that you only had several more days to live? Reunite with loved ones and die peacefully, reminiscing over memories past? Or maybe throw the party of the century and sleep with everyone who’s willing?
Dodge (Steve Carell) finds himself asking these questions and dealing with depression after his wife suddenly leaves. He has no desire to partake in the parties or hang out with his so-called friends. It seems that nobody can understand what he’s going through and he has no one to turn to. Enter Penny (Keira Knightly), Dodge’s young, eccentric neighbor who is in the process of breaking up with her loser boyfriend, Danny. When a riot threatens their downtown apartment, Dodge and Penny escape by car and begin their adventure together, Penny clutching several beloved vinyl records in her arms. Where are they headed? Dodge promises that he will get her to a man with a plane so she may fly home to be with her family while he attempts to reunite with a past love interest. And it’s an interesting journey. Getting arrested; dinner at a T.G.I.F.-like restaurant where everyone is on drugs; suicide by assassin; a run-in with a military-minded ex boyfriend; awkward conversations with family members; spontaneous sexual encounters. Nothing is too shocking – an asteroid is about to wipe out all of existence, after all.
Though Carell’s dry wit and humorous banter makes this end-of-times movie enjoyable throughout, there’s an underlying tone of impending doom. Which is understandable. The wild, fun and strange characters we’re introduced to along the journey is truly what makes the movie and keeps it interesting as it moves along. The conversations between Dodge and Penny aren’t too deep or philosophical; no moment between them or other characters too funny or too sad. And that’s just it. Everything is presented in that ‘grey area’ between two extremes. In this sense, one walks away from the experience feeling as though they haven’t felt much of anything at all. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is certainly worth a watch… just don’t expect to be moved by beautiful dialogue, amazing cinematography, or lasting impressions from Carell’s or Knightly’s acting. Just sit back and enjoy one last ride before an asteroid slams into our little planet.
More info on IMDB