ann hale reviews the end of the world comedy…
It’s hard to imagine how one would react to the news of the impending apocalypse. You have to ask yourself who you would spend that last bit of time with, what you would do with that time, what you would see. Is that person you’re with the person you want to spend the remainder of your life with or would you go find the one that got away? Seeking a Friend for the End of the World provokes these thoughts.
Steve Carell plays Dodge, an insurance salesman who has just found out that the world will end by asteroid in exactly three weeks. His wife has run off and he is left to spend his last three weeks alone. While going through old boxes, he finds a picture of Olivia, the one that got away. By some strange stroke of fate, he befriends Penny (Keira Knightly), a serial monogomist, vinyl collector and extremely heavy sleeper, whom has broken up with her boyfriend and has missed the last plane out of America to spend her last few weeks with her family. We learn that Penny has been getting bits of Dodge’s mail for years, which she finally returns to him. Included in this pile is a letter from Olivia dates three months prior. Since Penny has a car, they make a pact that if Penny can get Dodge to Olivia, he will take her to a friend who has a plane and can take her to her family.
As you can expect, not everything goes as planned. To avoid spoiling the ending, I wont go any further but there are several laughs as well as several incredibly intense moments that that will just knock you back.
Steve Carell plays his usual loveable nice guy that he seems to be typecast in but plays so well. Strangely enough, the show is stolen by Kiera Knightly, whom I don’t normally like, but her character is that free spirit that you cannot help but be drawn to. I could only compare her to the likes of Penelope Cruz in Vanilla Sky. As far as friendships go, these two couldn’t be any more different or any more perfect for one another.
This isn’t your usual love story. You know they are all doomed from the start but love, in one form or another, drives Dodge and Penny to carry on when they could have just given up. The movie is powerful, thought provoking and keeps you fully entertained from start to finish. If you don’t leave the theater with the strong urge to hold your loved ones a little bit tighter, you have obviously missed the point. I couldn’t possibly recommend this film any stronger. Spend the money, spend the time and bring a date. You wont be disappointed.