Penny (Keira Knightley) and Dodge (Steve Carell) in Lorene Scafaria's "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World."
Most apocalypse movies begin after the nuclear bomb has gone off or the zombies have taken over. But the upcoming film “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” takes place in the weeks prior to civilization’s asteroid-caused destruction, delivering its characters a big question: How best to live out those final days?
Upon hearing the news, single insurance salesman Dodge (Steve Carell) chooses to ignore his impending doom, dutifully returning to work the next morning.
When his friends invite him to partake in drunken, drug-fueled orgies for the remainder of their time on Earth, Dodge jokes with his neighbor, the emotionally fragile Penny (Keira Knightley), that he’ll instead be using his final days to “(catch) up on some me time, find God, maybe move around some chairs.”
Connie Britton chats at the premiere of "Seeking a Friend" and explains why co-star Carell is the perfect romantic lead for the film.
Rather than repositioning chairs, he befriends Penny, and together they take a cross-country road trip to reconnect with family and old sweethearts. As the end draws ever near, they find out along the way that all they’ve ever really needed in life is a confidant, a friend, a lover.
Although the premise sounds a little too rom-com twee, the film, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this month, looks to have escaped the corny by questioning what humans actually long for in end times.
If the apocalypse were truly nigh, Carell wryly admitted, “I would probably eat a lot of junk food. I’d start with Chinese food, segue into pizza, cupcakes, brownies. I’d do, kind of, a sweet-savory roller coaster and that might take me through a couple of weeks until my doom.”
Knightley took a more happy-go-lucky approach, saying, “I’d go (on a road trip) with my closest friends and family. I’d take Supertramp, and I‘d take Talking Heads. I’d want really upbeat, like, you know, dance-along music.”
The question isn’t all that far-fetched though. On Sunday, the New Zealand Herald reported that a man named Frank (who declined to give his surname) was diagnosed with cancer and given a few months to live in May 2010. After amassing a debt of about $64,000 U.S. dollars from lavish spending sprees with his wife Wilma, including trips to Australia and Fiji, the couple found out that Frank had been misdiagnosed and wasn't terminally ill.
Perhaps Knightley’s proposed dance-music road trip was a bit more prudent.
"Seeking a Friend" hits theaters June 22. Check out the trailer above.
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