Script: Lorene Scafaria
Acting: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melanie Lynskey
Production: USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia
Duration: 101 min
Following the global movie production wave that makes countless sci-fi movies a year, “Seeking a friend for the end of the world” deals with something different than the end of the world itself. Human beings need to understand and accept their minimal existence in this universe in order to endure and live their last days on Earth with someone they love and not fight the un - fightable.
The story-line follows a 40 year-old married man, Dodge, who after the announcement of the forthcoming asteroid, named “Matilda” that would cause the not reversing end of the world, he finds himself dumped by his wife, three weeks before the upcoming end.
Suddenly all his life flashes in front of his eyes and he discovers that, since there will be no world to live in, he should follow the true desires of his heart, and that is to find his high school love, his first true love.
This idea though, was given to him by his neighbor, Penny, who crushes into his place and realizes that she was withdrawing his mail. There he will find a love letter from his first love that will give him the extra push to do something he would never do before.
The whole atmosphere is about doing what you would never do before, since everybody on earth is aware of the upcoming end. Drugs, sleeping with anyone you like without protection, not following the law, doing heroine on parties are only particles of the outrageous level of freedom that exists three weeks before the asteroid hits Earth.
The movie is trying to show with brutal honesty, how it would really be if a more plausible scenario of an asteroid hitting Earth would occur, instead of some aliens destroying whole cities. The human brain here is presented as a coin; it only has two sides, either you can be depressed and probably kill yourself or be extremely happy and satisfied with the life you have lived, enjoying your last days with people you love.
The truth is it puts you into that thinking box, making you force yourself to imagine what you would do if all this was really happening. And probably you would find yourself wondering about the answer for hours, when the truth is you have absolutely no clue.
Penny, Dodge’s crazy British neighbor has a story of her own. She lives far away from her home and her parents, she has a dead-end relationship, she smokes weed all day and she feels terribly guilty towards Dodge about withholding the letters he should have received. They will start together an adventurous trip based on Penny’s guilt, only to realize at the end that the only thing they both really want is to have a friend for the end of the world.
The first half of this different sci-fi movie is actually really promising, with jokes and lines, situations that cause your curiosity levels to rise. On the second half though, you notice a terrible slowdown of the narration, like the director didn't really have something else to show you. Like the script ended there and they just improvised on set, without even trying to make it less obvious!
The scenario is dry; there is nothing to hold on, except making normal scenes really long just to fill up your time. There are certain ways in cinematography where you can make a good usage of a long scene and transfer the tension or any other feeling you want to transfer. The way Lorene Scafaria does it here makes you want to jump of your seat and scream: “Move on!”
Destroying completely the feeling that gives on the first half, “Seeking a friend for the end of the World” doesn't really offer something more to your thinking brain, except some hackneyed topics, like the importance of love in life. Didn't you know that already?
The movie could have the chance to stand by itself into the pantheon of sci-fi cinema, just by being so simple and romantic, if only it had a completed script. The scientific explanations that have blown people’s minds before in other movies now mean nothing. So in the emergence of different sci-fi cinema, “Seeking a friend for the end of the World” has lost its position.