‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ is a new comedy/drama to hit the silver screen and stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as two strangers who come together during the last few weeks of the existence of humanity. The reason humanity is threatened? A seventy-mile asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and the last attempt at saving the human race has failed. Due to the impending catastrophic event Dodge (Carell) decides to search out a previous true love after his wife leaves him on receiving the bad news. Aiding in his search is Penny (Knightley), his neighbour to whom he has never spoken to who also wants to get back and see her family before the world ends. So should you seek a friend to see the end of the world? Read on…
The answer to the above question would have to be yes, I mean how can you watch a film about two people coming together before the end of the world by yourself? Its not as if I did…. But in all seriousness ‘Seeking a Friend’ is a drama worth your consideration, it is not as funny as the trailers make it out to be but what it lacks in laughs it makes up for in heart warming drama. With that in mind however it is not the strongest drama you are likely to see due to some overall tone issues but with an interesting and original premise it offers a fresh feel to a worn genre.
The premise of ‘Seeking a Friend’ is pretty much fresh and different to most films that are not categorised in the disaster genre, and as it decides to focus on the reactions of the the average person in such a situation, it allows a unique opportunity to explore paths that may not have been trodden in the past with film. This is a strong positive for this film and the comedy, as dry and dark as it as at times, fits right into the proceedings very well. The problem that emanates from this situation is that as we move into the second act of the film, when Dodge goes in search of his former love, the comedy begins to quickly fade out in favour of a more dramatic tone. Though there are comedic moments to be found later in the film, the shift in mood and tone is rather noticeable and hampers the overall feel of the film as it sets it up for a dry comedy but delivers a strong drama. This shift, despite being noticeable, is relieved somewhat by how strongly the drama and relationships work when they take over, had it maintained itself as a drama from beginning to end it may have had much more of an impact.
|An awkward but working relationship|
The reasons behind the drama, romance and comedy working throughout is simply down to some terrific performances by Carell and Knightley. I feel Knightley’s character was a little harder to get to grips with but she does eventually grow on you like she does onto Carell’s character. The chemistry they have together is not perfect but it works and considering the circumstances these characters find themselves in when thrown together it makes sense that it comes across like that, as they say “opposites attract”.
Come the final act the awkward pairing of Dodge & Penny does grow on you and you feel for both characters as their lives are explored on the journey and you find yourself wishing that maybe there will be some miracle that will save them come the end of the film. Though it feels like their was some uncertainty on which direction to take the film in terms of comedy and drama, both work in relation to the themes featured through the story. Overall ‘Seeking a Friend’ is a road trip drama that delivers us an interesting story which follows some basic romantic drama conventions but performs admirably for a low key release.