There are three specific movies that influenced my decision to study and review film. Seeking a Friend at the End of the World carries similar tones and themes as two of those three titles – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Garden State. Had Seeking a a Friend been made around that same time, it certainly would have been amongst the other influential titles. I absolutely love this film.
Imagine what would happen had the misfit team from Armageddon failed in destroying the asteroid – that is, from the perspective of a single average man on Earth. Dodge (Steve Carell) and his wife were sitting in their parked car when the news came over the radio that the mission had failed, that the 70-mile-wide asteroid named “Matilda” was three weeks away from colliding with Earth, at which time it is expected to destroy all life forms. His wife ran away in panic, never to be heard from again, and Dodge is now left to face the end of the world, death and regret completely alone.
Dodge is a good person. He does not deserve this fate. While the world’s infrastructure is falling apart, he’s still going to work each day and doing good things for other people. It’s through his kindness that he makes a new friend in need – Penny (Keira Knightley). Both have last-minute dreams they would like to fulfill, so they head off on an road trip to get the most out of their last weeks.
I don’t wish to spoil the emotional journey that ensues, so I’m going to refrain from even telling you about their goals. What follows is cinematic gold, an emotional journey that feels great to sit back and wrap yourself in. It’s funny, cute, beautiful, intimate and deeply romantic. Instead of focusing on the nearing asteroid, it’s all about the people. Only once does Dodge look up to the sky, and even then he’s not looking at Matilda.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a comedic story about life, love, regrets and coming to terms with pain and regrets. I cannot urge you enough to get out and see this gems. It’s worlds better than you’d expect and easily of my favorite films of 2012.
Photo credit: Focus