Reel Shorts | Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

21 06 2012

An unfulfilled man who has drifted through life finds his purpose and someone to love as the planet faces extinction in the entertaining dramedy, Seeking A Friend for the End of the World.

Writer/director Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) wastes no time getting the audience straight into the story as a news bulletin announces that a laser sent to space to destroy an asteroid fails and it will impact and destroy the planet in 21 days. Within hours, insurance salesman, Doug Petersen’s (Steve Carell) wife has left him and he is prepared to live out his final days in a robotic fashion. Still going into work and going through the motions, he barely notices the chaos going on around him. At a dinner party where a friend tries to hook him up and are unsuccessful, his friend tells him “you’re going to die alone.” Her husband Rob counters “no, he’s going to die with everyone else.”

With people talking about fulfilling their final requests and adults and kids alike consuming alcohol and drugs, the social structure has completely broken down for everybody but Doug. Just as it seems that there is no hope for the Doug, salvation literally climbs in his window as his distraught downstairs neighbor, Penny (Keira Knightley) promises not to steal anything if he doesn’t rape her. The two form a fast friendship (is there any other kind with less than a month left?) and they find themselves on a final road trip where they encounter several interesting people and experiences, including a bizarre and hilarious outing at the friendliest place in the world, the TGIF-esque restaurant Friendly’s.

Unlike the doom and gloom of Lars Von Trier’s similar story from last winter, Melancholia, Scafaria’s story manages to remain hopeful and optimistic despite the dire prognosis. Carell strikes the perfect note as a hopeless lost soul whose last days provide meaning, resolution and the love of his life. Knightley is solid as well as offbeat road companion. Scafaria’s apocalyptic road film is a romantic, funny, thought-proving and unexpected pleasure that just goes to show that its not where you start but who you finish with!

Grade: B+                                                                               

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2 responses

22 06 2012
jimi jack black

Enjoyed the movie. If I directed it, I would have the Steve Carell character fall in love with a women near his own age. Middle age men trying to romance the younger women should have played out long age. Apparently not.

22 06 2012
FilmGordon

Jimi, the May/December romances have gone on since the inception of films. Remember who finances the majority of movies!

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