A wise person once told me that you can’t take your things with you, but you can take your experiences and the memories you’ve had in your life with you when you die.  These words have resonated with me ever since I’ve heard them and it’s been a quest of mine to experience as many new things, meet new people, and live life to the fullest.  Imagine knowing that the end of the world was near and about to happen.  What would you do in your final days of life?

The asteroid known as Matilda is on a collision course with Earth and there are only 21 days left until it collides and causes all mankind to be destroyed.  The opening scene of the movie takes place with Dodge (Steve Carell) and his wife Linda (Nancy Carell) in the car hearing the news.  His wife takes off and leaves him right there.

Now alone and with pretty much nothing to look forward to or live for at this point, Dodge meets Penny (Keira Knightley), his quirky neighbor whom he’s never met before and they go out on a road trip in search of Dodge’s high school sweetheart who has written him a letter saying that he was the love of her life.  The two of them set out on a quest that’s bound to bring the two of them together much closer, perhaps even more so than either of them had ever originally intended or believed possible.

This is a very funny and quirky movie.  The fact that it doesn’t ever take itself too seriously makes this a lighthearted film that everyone will enjoy.  Sure, the overall subject matter of the end-of-the-world is always looming over, but it never feels like it’s a sad, depressing film at all.

Director Lorene Scafaria knows her subject matter and knows her actors well.  She allows them to use their strengths and everything on screen comes across as pure chemistry.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World comes together well with everyone on screen doing a fantastic job.

Some of the most funny and lighthearted moments on the screen are when people around our two main characters talk about essentially losing their inhibitions and just living life to the fullest.  With no repercussions to worry about people do what they want, not holding back.

This is a film that you should definitely check out this weekend if you’re in the mood for a good character movie where the outcome may be basically known, but the way the movie gets there is what makes it good.  There are a couple curve balls thrown at you during the journey, but the journey in this film is where the heart is.

FINAL GRADE:  B +

Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres

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