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how it ends
Zoe Lister-Jones and Cailee Spaeny appear in <i>How it Ends</i> by Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Daryl Wein.

Movie Reviews

[Sundance ’21] ‘How It Ends’ review: Cameo filled cheerful pre apocalyptic comedy

All about the laughs.

How it Ends is a pre apocalyptic comedy screening at the Sundance Film Festival. The film follows Liza (Zoe Lister-Jones) as she tries to make her way to an End of the World party. After discovering her car has been stolen, she and her companion must hoof it across Los Angeles in order to make it. Along the way, she meets an array of characters that help her reevaluate her life.

The movie is filled with cameos. Nick Kroll, Helen Hunt, and Glenn Howerton are just some of the names that make appearances. This many guest appearances in a movie is usually a crutch, but it works How it Ends. Each character brings something to the story and gives more insight into Liza. They are more than just props to pad out a thin story.

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That being said, the number of encounters and the rapidness of them does give a sketch comedy feel to the proceedings. Everything ties into Liza’s character development but there is a feeling the plot is not advancing. How It Ends is more of a character driven tale, but some people will find the lack of progression tiresome.

[Sundance '21] 'How It Ends' review: Cameo filled cheerful pre apocalyptic comedy

What helps is the general good feeling of How it Ends. Filmed during the pandemic, the movie is a time capsule of a very particular and upsetting time. The film captures the feeling of the quarantine in a creative way. As Liza walks the streets of Los Angeles, only a spattering of individuals are to be found. These meetings are silly and help forget why people are isolated to begin with. 

There will be plenty of movies about the pandemic. Chances are most of them will be dreary reminders of a time everyone would rather not think about. How It Ends is a fun little comedy that is less concerned about giving a message and more about making people laugh. This is welcome during any time, but it is especially needed right now.

Continue to check out AIPT for our ongoing coverage of the Sundance Film Festival. Tickets and a full lineup can be found here.

how it ends
[Sundance ’21] ‘How It Ends’ review: Cameo filled cheerful pre apocalyptic comedy
How It Ends
A series of funny encounters anchored by a strong performance from Zoe Lister-Jones and Cailee Spaeny. Filled with great cameos.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Heartfelt and funny
Creative way of dealing with the pandemic
Minimal story
8
Good

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