Meet Dodge (Steve Carell), an insurance salesman who isn’t particularly happy in his life but keeps the façade going anyway. When news breaks that a meteor is hurtling towards Earth and there is absolutely no stopping it, it puts everything in perspective… for his wife anyway. After she leaves him, with only three weeks until the end of the world, Dodge befriends his neighbour Penny (Keira Knightley) and they set off on a journey to live out their final days with the people they love.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a really surprising film; it’s tender and thought provoking with a great balance of humour too. It never overdoes the sentimental parts of the film; laying it on too thick would have ruined the lighthearted elements which is why the film resonates long after it ends.
The casting of Carell and Knightley is also unexpectedly perfect. The two are mismatched and on paper it shouldn’t work, but the characters they play, and the journey their friendship takes is believable and genuine. The script proves strong in this respect and leads us to become attached to these doomed souls. Along with the strong main cast, there are some superb supporting roles from the hilarious TJ Miller, the adorable Adam Brody and the legendary Martin Sheen.
In a film like this, the ending has to match up with everything that precedes it and it’s a relief to find it lives up to the rest of the film, keeping me involved until the credits rolled.
This is the directorial debut for Lorene Scafaria, whose previous writing credits include Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. It is an excellent first film and an incredibly strong introduction that will see Scafaria as one to watch in the future.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a remarkable amount of heart that will have you calling up your loved ones just to say hello. Though it may be a little quirky for some, there’s no denying the charm it holds.