If you have ever wondered what will be on your wish list when there are only 21 days left before the world is destroyed by an asteroid, friendship trumps all desires in the delightfully refreshing Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World.
It marks the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria, who gave us the quirky Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and allows her poignant script and vibrant characters to take you on a surprising journey.
With a title that highlights the end of the world it is indeed challenging to build a story around a premise that seems to have nowhere to go. The remarkable and totally magic inimitability of Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World delivers one of the most original and surprising films in recent years.
One of the most intimate and memorable moments in cinema
Revealing a conclusion that is filled with emotional impact and one of the most intimate and memorable moments in cinema, it's one of those endings that you will never forget.
And, before you conjure up images that offers extraordinary visual and special effects that will blow your mind, don't! The character-driven and intimate story results in an emotional implosion that will last long after you have left the cinema and will definitely impact how you regard the soul of humanity.
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is one of those rare surprises that deals head on with the relationship between strangers, in particular an unlikely couple who are thrown together on a path of redemption that leads to miraculous and astounding fortune. In fact, what we see as an ending could possibly only mark the beginning of new adventures. To reveal more would be sinful.
Steve Carell proves that comedians deliver the best dramatic performances and his heartfelt and sincere performance of an unbearable pragmatist, whose life has come to a halt, will break your heart and win you over. He is joined by the sensational Keira Knightley, who is marvellous as a drifter and extroverted idealist who turns his life inside out. If you are not already a fan of Knightley, this film will be the beginning of a new love affair.
If you are looking for wholesome entertainment that is filled with meaning, passion and sincerity, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World will make a lasting impact on the way that you see people and the world around you.
Behind the scenes
We've all imagined the end of the world - along with the attendant floods, fires, earthquakes, pandemic viruses, and the asteroid hurtling towards Earth, which will be destroyed at the last possible moment by human intervention of epic proportions. That is not the end of the world as Lorene Scafaria sees it.
In writing her feature directorial debut Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Scafaria was more intrigued by what could happen to ordinary people - and how they would interact with each other - in the days preceding the event.
Scafaria found herself casting a cockeyed glance at "apocalyptic tradition". She noted: "I had a small obsession with 'the end is near', and a larger obsession with love. So it became a fun challenge to see what would happen when worlds collide - so to speak.
"I figured I would keep the screenplay at a very human level in scope and tell a story of relationships; what people would do, and how a person with feelings towards another person would be affected."
The writer/director didn't necessarily want to make "a 'road movie'. I kept trying not to write it as that, though eventually I gave in and started to embrace the concept a little more - but I keep halting the lead characters' road trip because of basic things like gas. They find themselves in some pickles along their route."
A couple of drafts were written, but work stopped and Scafaria's perspective changed once her father fell ill and passed away. She reflected: "I took six months off. Then I came back and rewrote the script, concentrating more on the concept of time - having it, and losing it."
Ultimately, she offered: "There is a lot in this story that is me; of the two lead characters, I'm more the Penny type, but I have a strong dose of Dodge in me as well.
Daniel Dercksen has been a film and theatre journalist in South Africa the past 30 years and as a trainer and educator has presented regular workshops in scriptwriting and creative writing during the past 17 years.
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