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The premise for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a bleak one. Opening the film with the cheery radio announcement that the fall of humanity is imminent thanks to an approaching asteroid, the film explores some very dark areas.
The film centres on Dodge (Steve Carell) and his blossoming friendship with neighbour Penny (Keira Knightley). Though the apocalypse sparks a mid-life crisis he was unprepared for, his meeting Penny adds light relief to the film and underlines the importance of friends in times of need.
As the two set out on a journey to reunite themselves with past loves and family, the end of the world brings them closer and, with the addition of Sorry the dog, they begin to find happiness even in the darkest of times.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World explores some interesting questions, namely the question of what would society do if given a month left to live. The answer varies from character to character; many get drunk and have no-strings sex, others haul food into a bunker and prepare to sit tight. The comedy present is bleak, with laughs mainly coming from the hopeless situation (a scene at Dodge’s office is particularly notable).
The pairing of Keira Knightley and Steve Carell has raised many an eyebrow, but here Carell is far-removed from his usual goofball form (seen in the likes of Anchorman and TV series The Office). Though his humour is still present, he applies a realistic personality to Lorene Scafaria‘s script.
Whilst many have baulked at the unhappy theme of the film, it is, at heart, a story about friendship. It may have too few laughs to be classed as a comedy and be too light to be considered a serious exploration of the apocalypse, but Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a neat little film – just don’t watch it if you’re feeling a bit down.
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A look inside Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Music for the end of the world: What’s on your playlist?
Nothing of remarkable note in the extras but the outtakes make for good viewing.