Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson
Safety Not Guaranteed is a charming little movie about a journalist and a couple of interns travel to a small town to find a man who has posted a classified ad searching for a partner with whom to time travel. The concept is simple and funny and the film brings up the obvious question of whether Kenneth (the alleged time-traveler, played wonderfully by Mark Duplass) is insane or brilliant, or even both at the same time.
While the storyline isn’t necessarily anything new, the charm of the performers, including the New Girl star Jake Johnson as the douchey yet somehow managing to be likable journalist, helps to guide the audience through a pleasant experience. The characters seem to be drawn out much better in this film than other movies of this ilk.
The film starts out with the trio trying to figure out how to infiltrate the life of this interesting guy. Jeff the journalist fails because… well… he’s a jerk and he views the assignment as more of a vacation than an actual job (Jeff also has the side story of wanting to reunite with an old flame of his in the town they travel to).
I guess I should mention the 3rd person in the group, the second intern, Arnau (played by Karan Soni). Quite simply, he’s a nerd who has no interest in journalism, but since diversity looks good on a résumé he decided to take an internship at a magazine.
The protagonist of the story is the other intern Darius, played by Aubrey Plaza in a very Aubrey Plaza role (see Parks & Rec on NBC if you don’t know what that means). Darius doesn’t have a very exciting life and seems a little lost and out of place. She lost her mother when she was young and still lives at home with her father.
Darius is the person who gets in with Kenneth and starts to go through a series of hilarious training to prepare he for the trip back to… 1999. She of course starts to develop a relationship with Kenneth and the film does actually turn into a romance.
There is a lot of very funny moments in this film and it’s just a joy to watch. It’s also a film that isn’t light on depth either as the characters are well thought out, and are much more than the stereotypical outer shell they are in at the beginning of the film. Also, with a very slim runtime of 86 minutes, it really doesn’t take very much time and effort to catch this wonderful little film.
My Rating: 4 out of 5