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Seeking A Friend for the End of the World — A Movie Review

June 24, 2012

By: Carole Hicks (June 23, 2012)

Ironically, prior to seeing this movie, I put out a plea … seeking a friend to see this movie. Sadly, I got no takers so I went alone.  I think I may have been the only one alone in the theater watching this particular movie, which makes it all the sadder (and possibly pathetic).

Nevertheless, when my son is not with me, it’s the way I watch most movies and eventually I work it out in my heart and mind to find it quite enjoyable as it allows me to become absorbed in the theme, the dramatic irony and the symbolism of the film.  (A hobby of mine that few people truly appreciate)

Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightly star in this film, which one might think it is supposed to be a comedy since Carrell is such a funny/charming actor.  The basic storyline is that due to a certain collision of Mother Earth with an astronomical-sized asteroid (scheduled to happen in 21 days), Carrell’s character struggles to make sense of his life and how the lives of people around him are taking shape in lieu of the pending doom.

With three weeks to resolve the “unanswered questions” and “unachieved dreams” of life, Carrell’s character, “Dodge”, becomes very endearing; though in the beginning you might just think he’s a schmuck.

Three weeks is not much time to resolve all your issues in life.  Most of us can’t even do that in a lifetime made up of six or seven decades.  Everyone knows the world is coming to an end … and yet, there are many layers of “people-ness” that represents how we deal with life and stress and LIFE, with or without pending doom.

Some people were breaking all the rules and completely throwing caution to the wind by drinking excessively, doing drugs, overindulging in physical pleasures of all natures/types.  Others were having yard sales … selling all their belongings and some were buying them.  There were survivalists living underground, and others were going to work like there would always be a tomorrow.

Carrell and Knightly are neighbors, and yet they do not even know each other until their lives start falling apart.  I don’t want to share the whole plot and spoil the story for anyone who reads this review. But, this film should and does cause one to think … what would I be doing or thinking if I knew that there were only three weeks left for life on earth. 

As I said, Carrell seems like a bit of a schmuck or loser in the beginning, but in the end, he’s a hero.  This goes back to my appreciation for the fact that there truly are no new stories, only new characters and different times/places.  All stories are just retelling the original story that God has written for us.  From his book, The Sacred Romance, John Eldredge explains that in every storyline/film/book, etc., there is a battle between good and evil … and a beauty to rescue.

We know, as believers, that God created this original story or plot, and has been telling it through all time … all others are man’s attempt at revising it, making it better … but we can’t do it.  I’ve not been able to see a movie for more than ten years without seeking to find God’s story within whatever fable another writer is trying to share.  I always find it.

In this film, “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” it’s still man’s struggle to find meaning and beauty in life and fighting those battles and fiery darts that the enemy throws his way … to keep him from discovering the Truth that God wants him to know .  And, unfortunately, (as is always the case), and is so obviously illustrated in this film, when it comes down to the end of life, it’s only then that we realize that the things we thought were important, REALLY WERE NOT.   Carrell’s character comes to realize that all the choices he made in life were made out of fear, and the need for security and his own expectations to provide that security.   And yet, he lived a miserable life … a loveless life … a life of fear and complete insecurity!

He said something that hit home with me … “My fear of dying alone is the reason I got married in the first place.”   I struggle with this same fear … I always have.   God knows that I do struggle with this … and it especially hits home when I’m doing everyday life things … ALWAYS ALONE … like eating alone, watching a movie alone, walking alone and yes, sleeping alone.  He and I talk about this A LOT, and I admit, I don’t get why this is how it is for me.  And yet, there is something (maybe another kind of fear) inside of me that says, “You can’t give in to insecurity and frustration.  You have to trust God for what’s best.”  I don’t want to be like Carrell and find out my whole life had no substance at all … that I missed the “GOOD THING” because I settled for “second best.”

At one point in the movie, Carrell surmises that, “we all die alone.”    He was trying to self-comfort with that idea … and so do I.

But there’s a twist in the movie. I won’t spoil it. But the overall theme is … “stop wasting time on things that don’t matter. “

So … question posed to the viewer is, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT MATTERS?”

 

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this film a 7.  I’ll probably buy it or watch it On Demand when it comes out.  It’s a movie to make you think … you will smile sometimes, and you will be offended at times. You will be surprised if you pay good attention.  And in the end, your heart will be tendered, and you will really like the Hero and the beauty to rescue.

 

 

 

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