OK for kids 17+
Last-minute life lessons in poignant romantic dramedy.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a low-key romantic dramedy set during the last few weeks on Earth before an asteroid hits. As characters try to figure out how to cope and identify what matters most to them, there's a fair bit of uninhibited behavior, from excessive drinking to drug use (cocaine, heroin, weed) to casual sex and desperate hook-ups. That said, the movie's focus is much less on that reaction to the end of the world and much more on finding clarity and peace. Two characters have sex (nothing sensitive shown), and many others talk about sex or make sexual advances. Strong language includes "f--k" and "s--t"; violence includes two suicides (one direct and one via hired assassin) and rioting. Despite all this -- and the general sense of bleakness/despair underlining everything -- Seeking a Friend is actually very sweet and romantic.
- Families can talk about how Seeking a Friend for the End of the World depicts people's end-of-days behavior. How does their looming fate impact characters' behavior? Does it seem believable/realistic? What do you think you might do in that situation?
- How do you think the movie might have been different if the world were ending through nuclear war or climate meltdown, rather than a runaway asteroid?
- Are the characters role models? Are they intended to be?
The good stuff
Messages: Although the movie presents a pretty bleak situation, the end of the world forces characters to find a certain purity and clarity in their lives. They must find the thing or person they love best to spend their final days with. Some characters struggle with discovering just what that thing is, while others try to find hope in possible survival. Ultimately, love, companionship, and acceptance are valued above all else.
Role models: Dodge has mostly drifted through life without taking chances or doing what he really wanted. But over the course of the movie, he learns to live, rather than avoid, the moments as they come. He learns to think selflessly, to take chances, and to grant (and accept) forgiveness. Penny is sometimes flighty, irresponsible, and overly impulsive, but she means well, and she clearly has a warm, loving heart.
What to watch for
Violence: A friendly truck driver thinks Dodge has been sent to kill him (people are hiring assassins to take them out before the end of the world). Shortly after, the driver is abruptly (and shockingly) killed by a single bullet; some blood is shown, and a dead body. Crowds riot, setting fires and causing destruction to people and property; there are gunshots and glimpses of dead bodies. A suicidal man falls on a car without warning (broken glass, a little blood). One character has a bunker full of weapons (and other survival gear). Occasional arguing, and a general sense of peril/despair.
Sex: Two characters have sex fairly early in the movie. Nothing besides kissing is shown, but they talk about it afterward. A character's wife tries to seduce Dodge, but he rebuffs her. In a diner, friendly waitresses and waiters make out with each other and with the main characters; it's implied that an orgy is about to begin. A woman flirts heavily with Dodge, but he isn't interested. Additional kissing.
Language: Strong language includes fairly frequent use of words like "f--k" (written and spoken in various forms), "s--t," "d--k," "p---y," "oh my God," "a--hole," "damn," "dammit," "oh my God," and "tw-t."
Consumerism: Coke products are seen a few times; also Colgate, Dunkin' Donuts, ESPN, and some car models (notably Smart Car).
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink heavily and do drugs (cocaine, heroin) at a debauched "end of the world" party. They're seen roaring drunk and/or high, and they urge kids to try the substances, too. Dodge drinks cough syrup with codeine over several scenes early on, to the point of drunkenness. Penny smokes marijuana to both help her get to sleep and to wake up. Some cigarette smoking as well.
Fan Reviews provided by
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World by 1954lovesmovies
This movie had a profound effect on me. I would recommend it highly. I thought I was going to just another mindless but harmless Steve Carell comedy. While it is very funny in many places it has a romantic overtone that shines through in the end. Good date-night movie. Made me think about what's really important. Especially since this world is NOT something we can spend just living for our own pleasure.
A Long Title For A Longer Melodrama, Short On Entertainment. by Alon Patterson
I really wanted to like this movie, having enjoyed Carell and Knightley in many of their previous efforts. Alas, it wasn't to be. Apocalyptic imagery here is just that, imagined. And a few effects might have livened this up just a bit. Unlike fine character dramas which successfully blend drama, character study and apocalyptic plots, albeit sans effects, films like "On The Beach," this movie fails to deliver the one thing audiences expect for a ticket purchase....entertainment. Despite the fine talents of Carell and Knightley, the screenplay here is dull, bland and at times, tedious. The writers fail miserably in bringing life or substance to the characters through their dialog, leaving this fine cast little with which to work other than pointless babble. There's no audience empathy for their predicament either. While this isn't a terrible film, you might do better waiting for it on cable or internet stream.
Outstanding by crystalforestcutnshoot
Thoughtful screenplay dealing with tough issues. Much was expected, some unexpected. The message was live your life as if the world is ending in three weeks, because it may be. But it didn't feel like a 'message movie.' It felt more like a relationship movie. Or better yet, 'relationships' movie.
I doubt this film will do well commercially. It deserves to, though, and I hope it will do well on DVD.
Go see it if you haven't.
This is what I would hope the end is like. by JoeAverage
It was funny and heart warming at the same time. It is one of those movies that makes you what to call everyone in your family and say thanks. The acting and everything was great except you could really tell it was not shot in Jersey. Looked like Cali. all the way.
Good Movie by movie_loving_rdh
Its funny how people just don't take the time in their daily lives to get to know their neighbor, coworker, whom they see on a daily basis. To never even say hello, and that it would have to take a cataclysmic event to get people to act "human" again. Go out and smell the roses people. Life is too short!
Better than expected by winterbaby
I go to the movies weekly, and this movie was one that I wanted to see because Steve Carell was in it. I thought it would be more of a comedy than it was. I would call it a 'dram-edy' I guess. I didn't expect it to be so serious. But it was good. There were so many 'true-to-life' circumstances and possible situations. Some parts were a little unbelievable, but it was entertaining. I didn't care for the ending... was hoping for ... more. (without giving it away!) Definitely worth seeing. Definitely much better than my previous week's movie -- Rock of Ages.
i loved it! by floridawoman11
the critics need to get a life...this was a terrific movie...the writing, the acting, the actors, the surprising twists and turns of the plot...definitely go see it.
Go see it! by brandie1002
I really enjoyed this movie and I am usually pretty hard to please when it comes to movies. This was definitely not your typical romantic comedy that are normally extremely cheesy and lame. It was quirky and fun and different, and I enjoyed it the entire time. The characters were interesting and entertaining in my opinion. It's definitely worth seeing.
Not your average apocalypse movie... by Love the Movies 2012
Do not expect heroics with Bruce Willis and sweeping Aerosmith music, or Optimus Prime sacrificing a metallic limb for humanity to survive. This is about two people and the small focus of their world with three weeks to go. I had to drag my husband to this...he enjoyed the movie very much, and was very surprised. The humor is dark...it has to be...but the moments of light are bright, and the sweetness of both the optimistic Knightly and the depressive Carrell really carry the movie. The movie does not resolve huge issues of the world...this is about the two main characters. There are laugh out loud moments, and extremely shocking, unexpected moments that are really a welcome addition to a movie I did not expect this from. It is quirky. If you like dark, funny, romantic and quirky, then go. I'm glad I did.
Not what you expected! by MovieJoker
Not typical Steve Carrell movie, though he plays the same character , as always, only boring and depressed. This movie, while cute in moments, doesn't hold together because the whole script and plot plan has too many holes in it, ex. no other cars anywhere, no one is ever home, his apartment is burning, and being ransacked, but he comes back to a perfect apt. at the end, he puts his new friend on a single engine plane to England from California. ( it would take 4 days minimum and the pilot would have to be Charles Linburgh to make it). There are a few tender moments between the two main characters that help you get thru this depressing, non-laughable and predictable movie experience. I'd give it a 2.1 out of 5, so save your money.