Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

With an asteroid on course to obliterate all life on Earth within a few weeks, a soft-spoken conformist (Steve Carell) and his free-spirited, British-born neighbor (Keira Knightley) set off on a road trip. He wants to reconnect with his high-school sweetheart, while she hopes to find transport back to England (all airline flights have been discontinued) so she can repair frayed ties with her semi-estranged family. The first part of writer-director Lorene Scafaria's drama registers as a deeply cynical examination of how a secularized society would react to the certainty of mass extinction. The tone of her script warms as its focus shifts to the deepening bond between the opposites-attract main pair. But the welcome affirmation of their increasing connectedness is offset by the heroine's insistence that the physical expression of love be treated casually, and by the film's implicit message that, in a world without God, romance is the only source of salvation.

Watch out for: Fleeting blasphemous humor, brief but intense violence with gore, drug use, underage drinking, cohabitation, off-screen premarital sexual activity, a couple of uses of profanity and much rough and crude language.

Rated: The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970