REVIEW | Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
There are not enough movies about regular people at the end of the world. Not sons of scientists (Day After Tomorrow) or amateur astronomers (Deep Impact), but everyday people who can have fuck all impact on the outcome. That’s what we get here when Dodge (Carell) and Penny (Knightley) decide to join forces to live out their final wishes. Unfortunately their relationship often descends into typical faux-indie romance territory and they rely on the audience to keep reminding themselves of the tragic backdrop to elevate it in any way. To reinforce the situation we are treated to an incredible supporting cast along the way and it is when it becomes the world’s last ever road movie that it is at its most entertaining. Whether it be Rob Corrdry and Patton Oswalt rejecting all social and sexual etiquette at a party, Derek Luke attempting to prepare for surviving the apocalypse in military fashion or the excellent TJ Miller and Gillian Jacobs exploring a hippy, free-love lifestyle at a roadside diner, these characters explore the concept of dealing with the end of the world in a far funnier but also realistic fashion.
And this is the movies major flaw, we are forced to stick with these two leads and their relationship when we really want to explore these additional characters and, to an even greater extent, the central concept of normal people reacting to their impending doom. It is telling that the shots of people holding lawn sales or mowing grass are more moving than almost anything that happens between the two leads with the exception of a phone call that Penny has at one point.
The premise of this movie far outweighs the final outcome but that’s not to say that this isn’t an above average movie, because it is. If ever a film deserved to be remade in a few years, this is it.
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