SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
Maintaining Values in a World Gone Mad
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Genre: Romantic Drama
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: Focus Features/NBC Universal/Comcast
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Writer: Lorene Scafaria
Address Comments To:Brian L. Roberts, Chairman/CEO/President, Comcast Corp.
James Schamus, CEO, Focus Features (A Division of NBC Universal and Comcast)
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000; Fax: (212) 539-4099
A radio news announcer reports that a space shuttle crew has failed to destroy an earth-bound asteroid. He says everyone on earth will die when the asteroid impacts in three weeks. The lead character, Dodge (played by Steve Carell), and his wife, Linda, sit stunned in their car for a moment. Suddenly, Linda runs off into the night in a panic, never to return.
Later, at a final party, Dodge’s seemingly sedate and married friends go nuts and spiral into immoral behavior. They feel there are no consequences to their actions anymore. Dodge, however, remains mostly calm and decent, despite a flirtation with depression and suicide. He keeps going to work at his insurance company.
Back at his apartment building, Dodge meets Penny, a younger woman who just broke up with her boyfriend. Together, they embark on a road trip to help Dodge find his high school sweetheart, whom he thinks was the love of his life. Instead, Dodge and Penny fall in love with each other.
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD is an emotionally powerful movie about ordinary people placed in a very tough situation. Despite all the drama, there are some really funny scenes about people soldiering on in the light of the apocalypse. That said, the movie’s a little episodic. Also, Steve Carell’s Dodge seems a little too old for Keira Knightley’s Penny character, which interferes slightly with the chemistry between the two actors. However, the poignant depth of their performances helps wipe most of the movie’s weaknesses away. They are also ably supported by other veterans, including Martin Sheen, Derek Luke and William Petersen. Writer-director Lorene Scafaria mines her situations for meaning that could fill ten lesser movies. The two lead characters try to close out their lives with dignity and love amid a world in chaos. They offer a good example of how people should live when faced with little time left – dignity, good cheer and unselfish, undying love for others.
Even better, they are shown going together to an impromptu baptismal line led by a Catholic priest by the ocean. Also, Dodge attains forgiveness and reconciliation with the father who abandoned him as a boy. Finally, there’s a really poignant scene where a TV news anchor says, “God bless you” after telling the audience that he and his family will be praying for everyone. The anchor’s statements serve almost like a benediction on Dodge and Penny’s relationship.
Despite the positive second half, the movie’s lewd content and drug references clearly warrant extreme caution. The movie also has some light Romantic elements in the second half. The negative content is partly designed to show the venality underneath human society’s veneer of civilization, but the more egregious elements should have been toned down to get a PG-13 rating for SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD. Please consult our CONTENT section above before deciding whether to see this movie.
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD is an emotionally powerful movie about two ordinary people placed in a very tough situation. Despite all the drama, there are some really funny scenes. The second half contains strong positive, redemptive elements of faith and values. However, as the world around the characters falls apart, there’s plenty of strong foul language, some lewd content, and drug references. This R-rated content in SEEKING A FRIEND demands extreme caution.