End of Days: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World


Lorene Scafaria's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World comes close to falling in a distinct category of films containing Pocahontas and The Day After Tomorrow. These films are generally provocative, but historically and scientifically inaccurate. But Seeking a Friend doesn't try to explain why the Earth is ending with abstract physics or emphasize political events. Scafaria's world ends quietly and intimately, without the bombastic global conferences and widespread tragedy. It is a world collected, a world in which all of humanity isn't trying too hard to survive. Save for scattered outbursts--understandable, given the circumstances--the three weeks depicted in the film are calm and therefore, effective.

At the very least, the film, released earlier this year, is not about 2012. Scientists blew that shit out of the water years ago, and continue to do so. In Seeking a Friend, radio and news broadcasts keep the public updated about an approaching meteor. It's almost eerily civil. If our world were to end, and if we had forewarning, would everyone maintain the right to know? Would the information be concealed? Or would authorities attempt to calm public nerves by issuing false assurances that the planet is nowhere close to spontaneous combustion? Or do we continue in a path of denial?

I'm not an end-of-days enthusiast, I'm just interested in the ethics of telling six billion people they're going to, well, die. Seeking a Friend plays up the social aspect. It is an end-of-days film which appeals to a multitude of audiences, simply because it doesn't overwhelm you with facts and computer-generated graphics; it's easy to relate to. I've answered this before, but if armageddon were to occur, I would do like Penny and Dodge: put on some records, walk the dog, kick back, and enjoy the show. Realistically, very few will be pulling a Jake Gyllenhaal.

So, what about you? How would you spend your final days on Earth?

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