Sunday, June 24, 2012


Lorene Scafaria
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which starred Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley, sounded like a depressing topic.  It was a very disturbing topic, if nothing else, however the writing and acting made this movie into a thought-provoking and bittersweet story.  Written by Lorene Scafaria, the story looked at what the central character Dodge, played by Carell, was going to do with his remaining 3 weeks before the asteroid Matilda entered Earth's atmosphere and demolished the planet.  An interesting question to ask and hopefully one we will not have to truly live out and answer.

The story revolved primarily around Steve Carell's character Dodge, but also looked at all the other people he knew or began to know during this 21 day period.  Some of his friends looked at the end of the world as being somewhat liberating and took advantage of the aspect of no consequences for your behavior.  Lots of drugs, drinking and sex were some people's answer.  Others mourned for the life they wouldn't live, but Dodge's primary concern was dying alone.  In the first scene of the movie, we watched as Dodge and his wife heard about the last ditch effort that the government had failed to accomplish to save the Earth.  His wife got out of the car and ran for it, never to be heard from again.  Dodge was devastated on so many levels.  An accidental encounter with Penny (Kiera Knightley) who was a neighbor in his building then set Dodge off on a course that only an asteroid could propel.   Penny was a whimsical character and a true romantic.  They both set off on an adventure to wrap up their lives.   Although it looked like the roller coaster ride of life that they were on was going to end disastrously, maybe it can be happy too.  

As I said before, this was a bleak topic with upsetting events, but also some light-hearted and fun circumstances as well.  Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley had performances that pulled you in to their world and you experienced all the emotions, both high and low, that they experienced.  I loved Steve Carell in Dan In Real Life (one of my top 10 movies) and this performance, although similar, was even better.  Kiera Knightley was perfectly cast as this flighty, but loving soul.  The rest of the cast was wonderful and added just the right amount to the story; they never overshadowed the primary subject.

This was a wonderfully told story full of irony that made me laugh out loud.  I've replayed the scene where Dodge almost kills a spider, then, given the knowledge of the future, he decided to let the creature live.  He shouldn't have!  I love movies that make me think about them days after.  I walked out of the theater not knowing whether or not I liked it.  In fact, I waited a day to write the review.  I found myself thinking more and more about many different scenes in the film.  This, in turn, made me think about aspects of my own life such as:  Have I lived a full life?  How would I spend my final 3 weeks if I had that knowledge?  Who would I want to be with in the final days or weeks?  And many more questions, but I'll let you come up with your own questions after you go see this movie.

This is not an uplifting movie; the topic is unfortunate, to say the least.  I would recommend dinner BEFORE the movie and not after.  I am guessing that this is more of a woman's movie as it is a bitter-sweet romance at heart, but I have talked with some males who thoroughly enjoyed it as well.  It's definitely worth seeing, but you could wait for the DVD.  It's not a movie you have to see on the big screen, but do see it!  (Just don't judge it based on the fact that it is supposed to take place on the East Coast and it most definitely is the West Coast!)


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