There are two movies competing for the heart and soul of Seeking a Friend For the End of the World and, unfortunately, the crappy one won out.
It’s a shame, because the other movie—the one that launches the film and is hinted at around its edges—is pretty awesome.
An asteroid is heading for earth, and we’re all doomed. Life as we know it has two months to go: So how do we all react?
Do we still work out? Do we go to our jobs? Does the cleaning lady show up?
“The End of Time is here,” says a DJ as the film starts. “Now back to all your soft rock hits.”
Sad sack insurance agent Dodge (Steve Carrell), seems to have nothing to live for. His wife has just left him, in an apocalyptic panic—so he decides to go to work. His boss holds a staff meeting. “We have several openings in the company. Does anybody want to be CFO?”
Then, in the movie’s best scene, he goes to a suburban party with his close friends. I won’t give it all away, but suffice it to say, parties are a lot more fun when the world’s about to end.
But nothing excites or turns on Dodge, who believes he will die alone. With so little time left, he can’t possibly fall in love, can he?
Dramatic music: Or can he?
Yup. Enter the manic pixie dream girl Penny, played by Keira Knightley. We can tell she’s a MPDG, because she wears lacy dresses and untied black Chucks and prefers vinyl to MP3s. (Pretty surprising to see this stock male fantasy figure, since the film was written and directed by a woman, Lorene Scafaria.)
She and Dodge embark on a road trip together, ostensibly for him to find a lost love and for her to reconnect with her parents.
You’ll never guess what happens.
It’s rare that I turn on a film so thoroughly. I absolutely adored the first 25 minutes or so and hated the rest. If tomatoes had been at the ready, I would’ve thrown them. I knew, of course, that the film was a romance, but did it have to be such a drippy romance? If there was one more scene of Penny and Dodge making googly eyes at each other, I was going to hurl.
The end of the world couldn’t come soon enough.