It’s 11:25 on a Wednesday night and one of my favorite romantic films is playing. The first time I saw “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, I knew I was in love with it and stayed up late to write a post that night. This film is one of those on the “If it’s on, at any point in the film, I must finish it” list. I adore it. It’s silly, it’s sad, it’s romantic, it’s everything. So without further delay, my list of favorite things from “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”:
- Everyone takes their last 21 days on Earth to do whatever they want and live to the fullest. I love this because it makes me want to put that to use in my life now, without the eminent threat of the end of all civilization as we know it. May be not the recreational use of heroin, having random unprotected sex or hiring assassin but taking chances and getting out of your comfort zone. Why haven’t I gone sky diving yet? Or jumped off the bridge into the sea of book writing (until now, of course)?
- Oh Elsa! she’s in such denial. She just thinks that this isn’t going to happen. She keeps her faith that this wasn’t happening! “See you next week, Mr. Dodge?”. She refuses to change her routine, because of her relentless belief that the world isn’t going to end. For such a small role in the film as the cleaning lady, she represents so many people who keep their heads in the sand and refuse to believe the bad things are coming. This isn’t exactly optimism. It’s just denial.
- People realizing what’s truly important in their lives. Penny, Kira Knightley’s character regrets not seeing her family in England more often and not making to a plane on time before the cut off. Dodge, Steve Carrell’s character regrets not reconnecting with the one who got away sooner. Other folks discuss spending their last days driving to see their relatives to say goodbye.
- A dog named Sorry. In the film, you see Dodge abandoned by his wife 3 weeks before the end of the world. Penny dumps her boyfriend, and a dog named Sorry ends up in the care of Dodge. The theme of these characters is abandonment. Someone has decided to just ditch this little guy on someone, because 13 days was more than too long to take care of a pet. I’d like to think one day that I will have a pup and I shall call him Sorry.
- Friendsy’s. I mean, that name! It’s like a mix of Friendly’s and T.G.I.Fridays. The crew keeps it positive and stays open to party with their patrons and stick it out with their work family and enjoy themselves (and let’s not forget all the glow sticks). Conga lines, inappropriate touching, “m-slides”, “spin dip”, and burgers with doughnut buns. Fun and creative ideas to keep it happy is encouraged, where it can often times be stifled.
- Loss of technology. In the beginning film the use of phones and internet has been removed. The only way to communicate is the use of snail mail and satellite phones. Television and radio are the only ways to know what is happening in the world. I often wonder what would happen in we were left sans phone or internet use for even one day what we would do.
- Records and lovely songs! The songs selected for the film are mostly from early 90’s or earlier. Vintage tunes and vinyl do the soul good. Penny must tote her favorite records with her on the trip to take Dodge to find Olivia, his lost love.
- Penny’s passion for romance. Penny keeps her optimistic view on the situation throughout the movie. She doesn’t want to think it’s the end all be all for her life. She loves love and doesn’t want to settle for anything less than what her parents have. She’s a crazy, unapologetic romantic and I love her for that, as I see that in myself.
- Dodge finds a record player for Penny in Olivia’s Parents’ house. Seeing how Penny lights up when he shows it to her is simply lovely. Then, Penny has such a great monologue about music and records and her parents’ love for each other. Beaming with joy to describe how to truly care for vinyl. You can almost compare buying thicker records with deeper groves to love and it’s difficulties. “Do you hear how full it sounds? Now, what you want to buy is a thicker record. They’re more stable. The grooves in them are sort of deeper and wider. You get more detail. I mean, they’re harder to carry around ’cause they’re heavier, but they’re worth it”.
- Perfect strangers on the beach getting baptized and picnicking. Not everyone flew off the handle into the deep abyss of lunacy when the world’s end was announced. Many became more spiritual and closer to each other in love and appreciation. This is also where Dodge and Penny share their real first kiss.
- Two unlikely people find love in each other. Penny and Dodge are complete opposites, yet complete each other. They offer something that the other doesn’t have. I think my favorite line in the entire film is with Dodge carries a sleeping Penny to his father’s plane and whispers to her, “You’re the love of my life”. That is the very first time I begin to cry. Then, when Penny returns and is angry that Dodge let her go, I lose it again. “How could you let me go?”! UH! Gets me. Where does one find such an adoration for someone when they meet each other!
- The Hollies – “The Air that I Breathe”. Really such a beautiful song that couldn’t be any more perfect for the scene. As Dodge whispers that memorable line, I get the goose bumps and have to close my eyes to soak in the song.
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- The Walker Brothers – “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” / “Stay With Me Baby”. This record is played until the power goes out and Dodge discovers Penny is back.
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- Having someone to end your time on Earth with. Just in time for the end of all civilization, Penny and Dodge find themselves and their soul regret is not finding each other sooner. “I wish I met you a long time ago; when we were kids.” and Dodge tells her that it couldn’t be any other way. However, they spend their last moments on Earth laying in bed, staring into each others’ eyes and being comforted by the presence of one another. Penny’s words, “I couldn’t live without you, no matter how long” are beautiful. “You’re my favorite thing”, couldn’t be a more perfect thing for Dodge to say to Penny before the asteroid hits. It’s a sweet ending that gets to me every time and makes me wonder when I will find someone that completes me that way and I’d want to lay next to for the last time on Earth.
That’s my list and I’m fully aware of how much of a sap I am. I’ll have you know that I wouldn’t have it any other way. One must always remember that the optimistic and romantic notions in life are what brings us hope and continue dreaming. Have you seen “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”? What are your thoughts about this film? Now, if you don’t mind me, I’m just going to get this sand out of both of my eyes, as I’ve just finished watching it as I finish this post.