The critiques are varied for Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Some say it’s terrible, some say it’s merely average, but let’s get one thing straight: you’d be wasting your money if you decided to see for yourself. For a movie whose production value was above $10 million, it only grossed $3.8 million on its opening weekend. Do I really need to continue?
Here’s the rundown on director and writer Lorene Scafaria’s film.
It’s the end of the world. Dodge, played by Steve Carell (Dinner for Schmucks; Crazy, Stupid, Love.), is an insurance salesman who seems to be the only one still at his day job while the rest of the world is succumbing to the chaos. Dodge’s life is pitiful; his long-time wife leaves him, he can’t help but think of his high school girlfriend (the “love of his life,” the “one that got away”) while the rest of the people around him are living out their desires. Carell tries to bring comedy into the role, but somehow the humor behind Dodge makes it seem even more pathetic.
With twenty-one days left to live, Dodge’s neighbor, Penny, shoves her way into his life. Penny, Keira Knightley (Atonement, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), offers no qualities or abilities that add to the film only that she is a free-spirited “serial monogamist” who is too lazy to give Dodge his mail. She can’t keep a job, a boyfriend, or even this plotline interesting.
When the community begins to riot, Dodge decides to find his lost love. He enlists Penny help him and she agrees, so long as he can find a way to get her home to England. Their trip takes some unexpected turns (they witness a murder, walk into an orgy, discover love) and resolves with Dodge finding (but not confronting his lost love) and returning home to wait out the end of the world.
The movie was trying too hard to be too many things, and it seemed like Carell and Knightley attempted to make something happen out of nothing. The concluding lines were touching, but the writing preceding the end was so weak that it didn’t matter. There were a plethora of holes in the plot, which left me with a lot of questions, but mostly disappointment. I spent an agonizing 94 minutes in the theater waiting for this movie to be over.
On the whole, it was terrible, but Scafaria did bring to light an interesting question. What would you do if you only had three weeks to live? I definitely wouldn’t waste any of that time seeing this flick.