Seeking an Answer to the End of Fact Checking
Truth be told, I've never been a fan of Fourth of July fireworks. The idea of standing around in oppressive heat, dealing with massive crowds, and getting eaten alive by mosquitos to watch a bunch of sparkly things go boom in the night has never appealed to me. So to honor my American heritage in my own special way, I decided to see a movie. Instead of seeing Spiderman, what would have surely been guaranteed, mindless entertainment, we decided to take a chance with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. The movie was a total bomb, and even worse, a complete waste of a perfectly good idea. So let's put aside the script, the believability of their characters, and whether or not the scenarios represent how people would actually behave and let's look at the facts. The fact is that this 10 million dollar movie did not look at the facts. In fact, they did not fact check at all, completely interfering with the believability of the film.
In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the main characters, Dodge and Penny, live in an apartment complex that we later learn is in the East Village, on 1st Avenue and 9th Street. Are we to believe that a insurance salesman lives in the East Village, one of the most liveliest, artsiest, young neighborhoods in Manhattan? In a tree lined, carpeted, airy and large apartment complex? He works at a large, suburban office complex that he drives to everyday, quite the commute to any suburb from the East Village. After leaving Manhattan, the two start a road trip bound for New Jersey. They are seen driving through dry arid, California-looking fields, presumably right outside of Manhattan. The only dry, California looking fields I know of are in ... California. The only fields within an hour of Manhattan are football fields. And if you've spent two hours driving through New Jersey in any one direction, you've probably already driven through the state. The lack of fact checking takes a turn for the worst when they arrive in Camden, New Jersey - in the film, a picturesque suburban enclave. Pop quiz: What city was listed as the second most dangerous city of America in 2011? Congrats, that would be Camden, NJ!
After leaving New Jersey, they end up in Delaware for a brief, romantic and spiritual moment away from the chaos on a rocky beach, beaches that could be found in California, not remotely resembling the sandy beaches of Delaware. The movie ends in the same way that it began, stupidly. Dodge puts Penny in a small propeller plane with his father as pilot, bound for her family in England. But like the art of fact checking, the only thing that plane will do if facts had its way - is crash and burn. I'm hoping just hoping that the art of movie fact checking fairs better.