Music

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD Film Score Review

As someone who is not terribly familiar with the work of composers Rob Simonsen and Jonathan Sadoff, I didn’t really know what to expect from one of their film scores, and when I first heard the score for Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, one of the first things I thought was that it reminded me in many ways of Mychael Danna’s music, or perhaps a screen adaptation of a darker Broadway musical or concert. As it turns out, I wasn’t too far off the mark – Danna and Simonsen have actually collaborated on scores, and Sadoff and Simonsen have captured a lot of the animated melancholy that defines so much of Danna’s score work.

That this score is so dark and so lively at the same time makes it a perfect accompaniment for Seeking a Friend, an ostensible rom-com set against the background of the apocalypse. If you didn’t already know ahead of time that a Steve Carell film would likely have at least some comic element to it, though, it might be difficult to discern that vein of humor from the score alone. There’s more sadness than anything else, but also an undercurrent of suspense that might have tricked you into thinking it was a score for a much more sinister movie. There was more than one point where I was reminded of the score from Donnie Darko.

And like Donnie Darko, there are two musical offerings from Seeking a Friend. There’s the score, of course, but also the soundtrack, featuring nostalgic pop tracks from various artists. The score itself comes in scarcely over the 20-minute mark, which seems to me to make it the perfect candidate to be bundled as a two-disc set with the soundtrack, but that doesn’t seem to be what the distributors have opted for. As it stands, the score is a gem that certainly stands well on its own, even given its diminutive length.

Fans of film scores will certainly find this one to be a worthy addition to their collections, as it has just enough quirkiness to help it stand out, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. The score is long enough that you get the idea of the tone of the music, but perhaps my only complaint is that some of the tracks could have been elaborated upon, at least for the audio-only release. Still, it could be said that it’s better to leave people wanting more than to leave them wishing there was less, so perhaps Simonsen and Sadoff played it exactly right by going for short and sweet rather than a more ambitious full-length offering.

Full Tracklist:

1. The Beginning
2. Dodge Walks Home
3. Penny Sleeps
4. Flossing Spider
5. Box of Memories
6. More Windose
7. Home with Sorry
8. The Riot
9. Jailed
10. Phone Call
11. Upstairs at Olivia’s
12. The Beach
13. The End

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ScreenInvasion Staff

ScreenInvasion Staff