I am not a crier. So much so that when I saw Bully earlier this year, I had to bite my tongue so as not to make fun of the big baby bawling his eyes out in front of me. But Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – can we just call it SAFFTEOTW? or better yet, Seeking – really tugged on my tough-as-leather beef jerky heart strings. It starts off really funny, but the hilarious momentum doesn’t last since, y’know, we’re all about to die. In its place comes this equally parts sweet and sad love story, highlighted by a surprisingly enjoyable Steve Carell. He really played the role of everyman insurance salesman Dodge Peterson with the right blend of levity and gravitas. Possibly his best role to date. (BY ALOT.)
Keira Knightley (Penny) is only okay, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t care for her voice, so listening to her interact with Dodge was akin to something a few decibels below nails on a chalkboard, but that’s really the worst thing I can say about Seeking. I think I may officially be an old man. I hated the Underworld and Ghost Rider sequels, and my favorite films of 2012 have been The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Safety Not Guaranteed, and now this. All three essentially character-driven stories of love and loss.
Seeking also features a surprise (to me) appearance by Martin Sheen, the best name for a dog in the history of pets, and Rob Corddry behaving as I would if I knew the world was over in three weeks or less.
The thing I take away most from this film is what I would and wouldn’t do if this situation were to present itself coughcoughWinterSolstice2012cough. Dodge’s house keeper, Elsa, mindlessly cleans his apartment every week. There’s some visual wallpaper with a guy busting his ass at the gym and another mowing the lawn. A few bodies get a head start on Armageddon while others’ inhibitions dissolve faster than an antacid in water.
Personally, I like to think I’d be eating every decadent sugar-based treat I could get my hands on. I’m talking grilled cheese with Pop Tarts instead of bread. Or S’mores Pop Tarts as the bookends for a larger s’more sandwich. Really… anything with Pop Tarts. (How sad that this is what I consider decadent. I hope when the real end of days comes, I have better ideas…)