We all know that Hollywood loves them an asteroid movie. Disaster movies are big business, and most people know just enough about asteroids to know that they don’t want one to hit the Earth. It’s the perfect epic filmic boogeyman, right up there with pandemics, nuclear war, and that one where the plants decide to murder us all. Normally, however, Hollywood’s versions of asteroid apocalypse focus on the heroic souls trying to save the planet from doom, or groups of people trying to make their way to some safe haven. What if the rescue mission fails, though? What if there is no place safe to hide? What if you, me, and everybody else on the planet had three weeks to live? That’s the idea behind Focus Features’ upcoming comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
Written by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Seeking a Friend… casts Steve Carell as Dodge, a man who finds himself suddenly single after his wife splits in the aftermath of the news that an extinction-level asteroid will be hitting the Earth in three weeks time. As the world around him alternately parties, riots, or goes about their usual business in a haze of denial, Dodge decides to take a road trip to find “the first one that got away,” his high school sweetheart. Also along for the ride is his neighbor, Penny (Keira Knightley), who’s hoping to reunite with her family before time runs out. Here’s the trailer for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
It takes a special brand of romantic comedy to attract my attention, and one set in the shadow of human extinction is definitely a unique spin on a timeworn genre. Sure, it’s not exactly a realistic portrayal of the subject matter, and sure, you just know Dodge and Penny are gonna wind up together. But if nothing else, it will be interesting to see if they have the balls to take the scenario to the inevitable, bleak conclusion, or if they weasel their way out with some last-minute salvation in order to give moviegoers a happy ending. I’m not holding my breath for the honest ending, but I’ll still give this one a shot.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World opens in theaters on June 22nd.