Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World ***

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“Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World” is a sort of comedy, sort of drama, about a comet that will impact the earth in a matter of weeks ending life as we know it. Sounds like the plot of a big studio blockbuster but this movie spend’s it’s duration following a few quirky characters as opposed to showing scenes of cities being destroyed.

Steve Carell plays Dodge. Once news of the astroid hits the world, his wife leaves him to be with the man she has been having an affair with. Dodge is left depressed and alone. His world begins to descend in to madness starting with his friends and family. He attends a party with his close peers only to watch them partake in heroin and unprotected orgies.

He meets another lost soul named Penny played by Kiera Knightley. She has missed the last flight home to England so she will never see her family again. Together they embark on a road trip so that Dodge can reconnect with the true love of his life.

Along the way they come across a series of bizarre people all in different states of madness as a result of the world falling apart. Dodge and Penny grow close during their trip and even fall in love.

The story is no where near original but what sucked me in was the characters. Carrell in particular has a dramatic side that is very underrated. His performance here was very similar to his overlooked performance in “Little Miss Sunshine”. But much like Adam Sandler, when he takes a dramatic role the box office performance of the movie is always flat.

Director Lorene Scafaria wisely focuses on the characters and keeps anything to do with the impending doom off screen. Sure there are riots in the streets but the story is about these specific characters and everything that happens in their personal lives.

Part of me wishes I could have seen these characters under different circumstances. The whole doomsday plot has been done to death in better movies. Some cliches have to be included no matter what, but it does provide a definitive ending.

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