Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World REVIEW

"Man, I wish Ricky Gervais would stop sending me these abusive letters."

Release Date: 13 July 2012
15 | 101 minutes
Director: Lorene Scarfaria
Cast: Keira Knightley, Steve Carell, Gillian Jacobs, Adam Brody, Melanie Lynskey

What would you do if the world was going to end in 21 days? Carry on as normal? Go out with a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll binge? Watch Green Lantern until your brain melted?

With a Texas-sized meteorite about to hit the Earth, insurance salesman Dodge Petersen (Steve Carrell) picks the first option. Fortunately (for the viewer at least), a chance encounter with a manic dream pixie girl called Penny (Keira Knightley) and a dog named Sorry convinces him to go on a road trip that’ll reunite him with the lost love of his life.

Lorene Scafaria’s brilliantly sweet and snarky directorial debut may seem like a strange idea for a romantic comedy, but the apocalyptic overtones are woven into the fabric of the film with conviction. This really is the end of days; TV news is cheesily counting down to the big day, people bring heroin to suburban dinner parties, and the only thing on the menu at Friendlies (think TGI Fridays with way more hugs) is a mass orgy.

But the film doesn’t just use the impending cataclysm as an excuse for a bunch of satirical gags; it’s most interested in the effect the apocalypse has on relationships. Once you strip away the need for jobs, money, or security, what do we really need? According to Scafaria, the answer’s simple; someone to love and a handful of good vinyl. Sure, the film concludes, music might not be able to save the world – but a bit of Scott Walker can certainly soften the blow.

Jon Hamblin

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