Steve wasn't entirely subtle in hiding his "enthusiasm".


Steve wasn't entirely subtle in hiding his "enthusiasm".

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. STEVE CARELL'S CAR

Taciturn insurance salesman STEVE CARELL and his wife are listening to the RADIO coverage of the impending end of the world as we know it. In an immediate kick to the balls of CLICHE, a certain well-known R.E.M. song is conspicuous by its absence.

RADIO ANNOUNCER

This just in folks - the crew of deep-sea oil drillers sent to blow up the oncoming asteroid that's due to wipe out our planet, has bailed. Turns out Bruce Willis wanted $4 million for the job and got replaced by Harrison Ford, who can't drill asteroids for shit.

STEVE CARELL'S ACTUAL WIFE

Steve, I'm leaving you.

STEVE CARELL

Whoa, hold up! Sixty seconds in and we've already deployed the inciting incident? I'm not even done learning my lines yet. Quick, roll credits while I finish reading this thing!

INT. HOUSE PARTY

STEVE has some obligatory interactions with various supporting characters, including schlubby little skeezer PATTON OSWALT.

PATTON OSWALT

The end of the world is doing wonders for my sex life, I've had loads of sex. With real girls! I'm guessing they don't have to worry about living with the embarrassment of touching my naked body.

STEVE CARELL

That's already overtaken the whole asteroid thing as the least believable conceit in the entire movie.

Everyone at the party starts doing DRUGS and SEX THINGS, so STEVE leaves because he is a square. This would be CHARACTER ESTABLISHMENT if it wasn't true of all insurance salesmen.

INT. STEVE'S APARTMENT

STEVE discovers almost-but-very-definitely-actually-NOT-manic-pixie-dream-girl KEIRA KNIGHTLEY outside his window.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Can I come in? If you don't rape me, I won't steal anything.

STEVE CARELL

Ha! Rape. Always good to play that for laughs.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

I heard there was an opening for the annoying hipster love interest, and thought I'd apply for the role.

STEVE CARELL

What are your qualifications?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Well, I'm really quirky, which I hear is a thing that definitely doesn't make people vomit. For instance, you should know I have hypersomnia. It means I'm really hard to wake up.

STEVE CARELL

Sounds like a mildly endearing character quirk, for sure.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

No, I mean... you really should remember that. In case it comes in handy later, for some sort of daft plotty reason.

STEVE CARELL

Well, I don't see how that could translate into anything meaningful, but I'll take your word for it.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Also, your wife was cheating on you.

(falls asleep)

STEVE CARELL

I know exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I have no idea what to do.

STEVE attempts to kill himself by drinking cleaning fluid, because if there's one thing funnier than RAPE, it's SUICIDE. When that fails, he and KEIRA resolve to go on a QUEST to find his first true love. Or maybe he'll discover that true love... was right by his side all along. Some trite shit like that.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

First, let me say goodbye to my douchey ex-boyfriend Adam Brody.

ADAM BRODY

That's right, THE Adam Brody. Recognise.

STEVE CARELL

So Adam, I imagine you'll be coming along for the ride as the comic-relief sidekick?

ADAM BRODY

No thanks, I'm good with this one scene. Otherwise my overwhelming awesomeness will completely overshadow you, and I'm too good of a person to let that happen.

KEIRA and STEVE drive off, leaving ADAM to be beaten to death by a bunch of RIOTERS with long memories who still haven't forgiven 'The O.C.' for its relentless pandering to the lowest common denominator.

EXT. HIGHWAY

STEVE and KEIRA'S car breaks down, and the two are picked up by incongruously jolly trucker WILLIAM PETERSEN.

STEVE CARELL

Who are you? I really want to know. C'mon, tell me, who are you?

WILLIAM PETERSEN

I'm a wacky lunatic, sent to completely offset the gently comedic-slash-melancholic tone of the movie with my odd hijinx.

WILLIAM spends the next five minutes acting like the sort of WEIRDO you'd find in the ABSURD SUBPLOT of a poorly-written college movie escapade that went straight to DVD.

STEVE CARELL

I'll be honest, I was just about getting into the drama of this situation, but you've snapped me right back out of it.

WILLIAM PETERSEN

Then my life's work is complete.

(dies)

Later, they stop off at a DINER, but are forced to make a break for it as the restaurant morphs into a SOFTCORE PORNO and an orgy breaks out.

STEVE CARELL

It's bad enough that we have to worry about the end of the world, let alone being caught up in spontaneous public orgies.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Actually, that made me feel pretty horny, baby. Fancy a shag?

STEVE CARELL

Okay, but no more references as sadly outdated as that one.

KEIRA takes her clothes off.

STEVE CARELL

Schwing!

They HAVE SEX in the car park. STEVE, like any real man feverishly copulating in the face of impending global holocaust, probably asks for ANAL.

INT. JAIL

STEVE and KEIRA get ARRESTED, because it wouldn't be a roadtrip movie without one plot contrivance completely BOGGING DOWN the second act.

STEVE CARELL

If nothing else important happens in this scene, you should know I have an estranged father.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

(falls asleep)

INT. KEIRA'S OTHER EX-BOYFRIEND'S HOUSE, WHICH IS NOW A BOMB SHELTER

Okay, TWO plot contrivances.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

If nothing else important happens in this scene, you should know my parents live in England and I really miss them, but I feel obliged to help you find your one true love.

STEVE CARELL

Man, I didn't even need to bother learning the rest of my lines, I could have just pieced it together from these blindingly obvious narrative threads that are being tossed lazily at the screen.

INT. STEVE'S EX-GIRLFRIEND'S OLD HOUSE

STEVE and KEIRA have a romantic dinner together, which definitely doesn't help them FALL ALL IN LOVE and stuff.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Look, there's some vinyl! Oh, I ADORE vinyl. Did you know it makes the music sound better?

STEVE CARELL

You like vinyl? What an unexpected and original character quirk.

Somehow, this causes STEVE to FALL IN LOVE some more, rather than punch KEIRA in the FACE.

EXT. STEVE'S EX-GIRLFRIEND'S NEW HOUSE

As the tension mounts, as the emotional climax draws near, STEVE approaches the door and... leaves a LETTER for his ex.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Wait, that's it? I mean, I know it's been increasingly apparent that looking for your ex was just a subplot, but don't you think it at least needs some sort of resolution?

STEVE CARELL

Nope! Now let's breeze on to a reconciliation with my estranged father. Gotta hit these beats in quick succession or people might begin to lose interest.

INT. MARTIN SHEEN'S HOUSE

STEVE'S estranged father just so happens to be a pilot, and also is MARTIN SHEEN.

MARTIN SHEEN

Feels like I got here just in time, I think you were overdue an injection of credulity.

STEVE CARELL

And it's good of you to provide that for us. Hopefully it'll last for the next twenty minutes or so, cos we're screwed without it.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Nice to meet you, but I'm pretty tired. It'd be a shame if I... FELL ASLEEP.

(falls asleep)

STEVE CARELL

If only there were some way to get her to fly to England to find her parents. Something that initially seemed like an incidental character trait but now seems like it might come in handy for some daft plotty reason. Wait a minute! I just remembered something!

MARTIN SHEEN

Yes?

STEVE CARELL

She's a hipster! I think I read one time that those guys blow so much self-importance out of their asses they can actually levitate several thousand feet off the ground?

MARTIN SHEEN

I'm not sure if that's a thing.

STEVE CARELL

Damn. Oh wait, she has hypersomnia! Now she's asleep we can just put her on your plane without anyone noticing! Just like an inverse 'Flightplan'.

MARTIN SHEEN

But didn't you just give up on searching for your one true love to be with this girl? Why would you possibly give her up too?

STEVE CARELL

Because we need to eke out every last drop of drama, dammit, even if it means making insane choices that are supposed to be selfless but instead just come across as idiotic!

They stuff her onto the plane, and MARTIN flies her to England. OR DOES HE?

INT. KEIRA'S APARTMENT

STEVE is sitting around, idly waiting for the story's FOREGONE CONCLUSION.

STEVE CARELL

Well, nothing left to do but twiddle my thumbs for the next seven days - should make for a riveting culmination to the story where nothing at all eventful happens. I think I'll watch some TV.

TV ANNOUNCER

This just in folks - turns out the scientists let the astrologers do all the sums instead of the astrophysicists, and the asteroid is actually going to hit us today instead of next week.

STEVE CARELL

Well, whaddya know!

KEIRA appears from literally NOWHERE.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

I just heard about the asteroid and got here as fast as I could, somehow!

STEVE CARELL

I was about to remark on how unrealistic this was, but in a world where Patton Oswalt gets laid on a regular basis, I suppose anything's possible.

They EMBRACE. It is all VERY EMOTIONAL, supposedly.

STEVE CARELL

Keira, you were the love of my life. Well, you and lamp.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

I love you too Steve, you made my life complete.

(pause)

Kinda wish we'd joined in that orgy, though.

STEVE CARELL

Yeah, me too.

As the ASTEROID finally hits, the RADIO plays a certain well-known R.E.M. song. Well, it doesn't. But it bloody well should have.

END

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