June 22, 2012 --
Today, a "doomsday comedy" has hit theater screens. Starring comic genius Steve Carell and Academy Award nominee Keira Knightly, "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World" (a Focus Features release) isn't your run-of-the-mill Apocalypse flick, it's a hilarious (and thought-provoking) look into how society may handle an impending end of days. There's no chisel-jawed hero; there's no computer-generated space rocks and [spoiler alert!] there's certainly no conventional "happy ending." This is the story of two everyday strangers called Dodge (Carell) and Penny (Knightly) who "find each other" days before a 70-mile wide asteroid called Matilda slams into our planet. "I was always more interested in the human relationships and the minutia of the people in the films, like 'The Day After Tomorrow' where I'm finding myself more invested in Jake Gyllenhaal's crush on a girl, not necessarily what was going to happen (to the planet)," director Lorene Scafaria told Discovery News. Take a look at some of the scenes from the movie...
"Hero Dog" After being dumped by his wife after it became clear the world really was coming to an end, Dodge bungled a suicide attempt in a park. When he came around, he found a stranger had tied a dog to him with a note that said only "Sorry." The name stuck. "Seeking A Friend" may not be an action-thriller filled with explosions and heroics, but to Scafaria, Sorry (real name Aleister) was her hero: "When I saw Aleister and his wonderful scrappy snaggletooth and wiry coat, I loved him and felt, 'Here's our hero dog.'"
Strangers Next Door Dodge meets Penny, his British neighbor. Dodge and Penny couldn't be more different. He's a level-headed insurance salesman who finds comfort in certainty and predictability. Penny has a gregarious, carefree and bohemian attitude to life. But circumstances threw the pair together.
Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll There's the inevitable depression and despair, but there is also humor in the end of the world. In one scene, Dodge and Penny come across a restaurant filled with people wanting to see the world out with a huge party that's a heartbeat away from a mass orgy. "Yes, sex, drugs, rock and roll would definitely be on everyone's mind," said Scafaria, but there will also be the inevitable soul-searching and regrets for the past. "I talked to a relative that said they'd search for a high school sweetheart, even though it was 40 years ago, and they're still on the person's mind."
Lost Love Dodge embarks on a journey to find a long-lost love after being handed a long-overdue letter from Penny. Using a hand-written letter, as opposed to an email or text, gives the movie a timeless feel, a deliberate move by Scafaria.
On the Set "You would never have known that this was Lorene's directorial debut. She knew what she wanted to achieve, and set a tone of support and grace," Carell said in a press release.
Director and Writer Lorene Scafaria on the set of "Seeking A Friend."
"Death is Absurd" "I think that death is absurd." Scafaria told Discovery News. "As much as it's inevitable and a 'great equalizer' and something we all have to face, it's nuts! It's absolutely absurd that time stops ... and seeing how different people react to it and their coping mechanisms -- that's also absurd." This feeling was worked into the plot of the movie where the characters explored their own mortality. "Especially when everyone is facing their mortality at the same time is even more ridiculous -- society breaking down. There's a lot to take in I think," she added.
More Discovery News coverage of "Seeking A Friend":
INTERVIEW: The End of the World and the Absurdity of Death
REVIEW: 'Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World'
DNEWS NUGGET: Shelter Dog Gets Big Movie Break