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Film Reviews Blog: ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ Tells Human Story

By Mikhail Chernyavsky
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The end is near!

So what would you do if you were facing imminent death with the rest of the world at the hands of a state-sized asteroid?

This is the question that “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” asks as the people of Earth only have weeks to live.

It’s not your typical apocalyptic film. Earth has had a few asteroids heading its way, but the film’s average Joe perspective gives it a unique feel.

Unlike most disaster films that tell the hero’s story of saving the planet, Seeking a Friend tells the story of everyday people who are unsure of what to do with their final days.

Dodge (Steve Carell) is an unassuming insurance salesman, who has been abandoned by his wife in the disaster. He continues in his daily routines, as he is unsure of what to do with his remaining days, until a street riot breaks out and he is forced to flee with his English neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley).

The two embark on a road trip as Dodge promises Penny a plane ride home to see her family if she will drive him to see his high school sweetheart one last time.

The film never actually shows the asteroid, which seems fitting as the main focus is on the people.

Dodge and Penny’s encounters with others are very episodic. Each encounter ends within a few scenes as it quickly touches upon how others are choosing to spend their final days.

The film takes a very honest and real approach as to what everyone would do. Some, like Dodge, continue with everyday routines, while others give up all inhibitions and engage in drug use and sexual exploration. After all, nothing really matters anymore. There are no rules or expectations.

However, it’s not all fun and games. Seeking a Friend has a very serious side to it. Naturally, as the two reflect on their lives, they discus their faults and regrets. Penny is riddled with guilt as she reexamines her past relationships and realizes they distracted her from her friends and family. On the other hand, Dodge is angry and seeks some kind of closure from his estranged father.

The charm of the film doesn’t just come from the comedy but from the honest human moments that it captures. The simple subject matter forces audiences to really think about what is important and shows that even when your world has been turned upside down with death, life is still capable of mixing things up even more.

The humor is smart and witty. Above all, it breaks the comedic mold by not just reaching for laughs but also asking audiences to think.

So, why wait for the world to end to check off a few things on your bucket list?

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