No-Shame Movie Review: "Seeking A Friend For the End of the World"

This is part of a series of No Shame Movie Reviews. For reasons I won’t speculate and rant about now, we have been told that only some movies are worth enjoying. Only artsy movies with a meaningful and/or ambiguous message, perhaps. To that, I say phooey. I say that you should be able to watch and enjoy any movie you want – from low-budget children’s movies to dramas about the hopelessly romantic. If you enjoy them, then why the heck should you not be able to watch them without shame?

 

Steve Carell. Kiera Knightly. The apocalypse. What happens in those last few days? That’s the question posed by Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

First things first. This is not a comedy. “Of course it’s not,” you’re saying. “It’s about the impending apocalypse, for crying out loud!” I knew that basic plot point going in, but somehow I was still expecting it to be funny. It has funny moments – don’t get me wrong – but it is in no way, shape, or form a comedy, no matter what IMDb says.

It’s about the apocalypse. It’s sad. I cried.

Essentially, a meteor named Matilda is heading directly towards Earth, no chance of it missing. Dodge (Steve Carell) was just left by his wife, and Penny (Kiera Knightly) has no clue what she’s doing with her life. The two set out on a road trip together – him to find the girl who got away, her to be reunited with her family.

The great thing about this movie isn’t just the movie itself. It’s the fact that it really gets you thinking. Practically every character, no matter how minor they are, approaches the end of the world differently. Some of them get drunk and try drugs and have orgies. Some of them riot and some of them commit suicide. Some of them get baptized. Some of them desperately plan how to survive. Some of them seek out family or friends or long-lost loved ones.

And watching all these options just makes you wonder, what would you do? You can’t help but ask yourself those terribly morbid but still fascinating questions. If I knew, one hundred percent guaranteed, that the world was going to end in two weeks, what would I do?

I can honestly say that I don’t know the answer to that question. That everything I think of just seems too trivial, that nothing I can conceive of doing – whether or not I’m also considering feasibility – just seems too insignificant to spend my final days on.

If it really was the end of it all, there would just be so much pressure to make those last few days perfect, to really make them something special. And I think that would just make it seem, no matter what you were doing, like it wasn’t enough.

It would be like New Year’s Eve, or Halloween. You feel like it has to be just this absolutely extraordinary time, but it can never live up to that expectation of holiday joy. And instead of going out and trying to be all festive and special, you might just have a lot more fun playing cards and watching Jeopardy with your friends. (This very quickly dissolved into a tangent about how, last weekend, I had significantly more fun at my friend’s grandparents’ house than at an all-campus Halloween party…)

But back to why you’re actually reading this, to hear me ramble about movies. I think the point Seeking a Friend for the End of the World tries to make is that it’s okay if you don’t go out and do something noteworthy, or extraordinary. You can just sit back and enjoy the little things in life. You don’t have to go be someone you’re not, go do exciting things just because it’s the last chance you’ll have to do something stupid. Because you know what? If the world’s ending, it’s also your last chance to put your feet up and watch reruns of Gilmore Girls.

(I really wanted to make a pun about “getting the hell out of Dodge,” but just couldn’t find a place to work it in. Darn it.) 

And there we have it. Just a few of the reasons that you should not be ashamed to watch and enjoy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

A big thank you to Melissa for recommending this film! If you have any ideas for a movie that you want me to review, then let me know! Bad, fun, silly, adorable, enjoyable, romantic, anything that you shouldn’t be ashamed to watch and love! (Bonus cookies if it’s also on Netflix.)

Pictures: Netflix; Gstatic; EW