A morbid yet humorous tone to “Seeking a Friend”

Ellen Dochat
Staff Writer

“Seeking a Friend” was a good movie; too bad hardly anyone went to see it in theaters. The plot is grim but the first three-quarters of the film is filled with humor.
The film opens with a man listening to the radio broadcast in his car, saying that a massive asteroid is headed toward the Earth to destroy it. Upon hearing the news, his wife runs out of the car and never looks back.
The man is Dodge (Steve Carell), an insurance salesman, who doesn’t let this news stop him from living his life.
Naturally, he is depressed about the world ending and that his wife left him, but his friends, including Diane (Connie Britton), Warren (Rob Corddry) and Roache (Patton Oswald) are having fun, throwing crazy parties, drinking and taking illegal drugs.

Penny (Keira Knightley) and Dodge (Steve Carell) await the meteor that will end the world.

Upon returning to his little apartment, alone, Dodge finds a woman crying on his fire escape. Penny (Keira Knightley), upset over breaking up with her boyfriend, helps herself to some cough syrup, smokes some weed and promptly falls asleep on his couch. She wakes up to Dodge playing his harmonica. Penny takes Dodge down to her apartment where she gives him all of his mail for the past three years that had been wrongly placed in her mailbox. One of these is a letter from Olivia, his old high school sweetheart, telling him that he was the love of her life.
Riots break out all over the town, including near Dodge’s apartment building. Determined not to get killed, Dodge jumps into Penny’s apartment where she is having another fight with her ex-boyfriend, Owen (Adam Brody). Penny gets Dodge to his high school sweetheart, he will hook her up with a plane flight home to visit her parents, who live in England. They get into the car, leaving a frustrated Owen in the dust.
However, things do know as planned, as Penny quickly runs out of gas. They run into another driver (William Petersen) who can give them a ride. But, as it turns out, this guy was diagnosed with terminal cancer and hired a hit man to help him commit suicide. Just as he is relieved that Dodge and Penny aren’t the hired guns, he gets shot in the neck. Dodge and Penny bury the man, but then, staring at the grave, realize that the keys to his truck are still down there.
They stop at a Friendly’s Bar, which is a great scene, considering it includes Community’s Gillian Jacobs as a waitress, Kate. Everyone is welcome here. Many illegal situations occur, Dodge and Penny have sex, and they eventually journey back to his childhood home, where some more bonding between the two occurs.
Later, they arrive at Dodge’s father’s (Martin Sheen) house. This man left Dodge and his mother years ago and the two hadn’t spoken in years, but now he is back.
The meteor attack is sped up, coming a week earlier than planned. How will Dodge spend the last moments of his life?
The film is good, and Keira Knightley is great in her role. Also, the tone is quite uneven, but it can really make you laugh and cry as the whole idea is quite sad, I was in tears by the end, refusing to believe that the world would actually end. This film is very good and certainly the most underrated film of the year. Grade: A-

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