REVIEW: SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
SYNOPSIS: From the producers of Little Miss Sunshine - When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle magazine employees to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he¹s solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. Together, they embark on a hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly heartfelt journey that reveals how far believing can take you.
REVIEW: Sarcasm, cynicism and hilarity all come together in this unlikely pairing-up of offbeat characters in “Safety not guaranteed.” The idea of a magazine reporter and his two side-kick interns chasing a story about some guy who places an ad in the classifieds, and needing a partner for time-travel, seems a little off the beaten path to say the least. This oddball drama, written by Derek Connolly and directed by Colin Trevorrow, seems to be a combination of drama, comedy and a touch of romance.
Actress Aubrey Plaza, actors Karan Soni, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson are delightful in this Sundance 2012 debuted flick. It has all the elements of a well written and directed emotional drama and is refreshing and artsy without the heavy influence of the Hollywood big budget cloud surrounding it. It is, simply put, simple, enjoyable and well made.
Darius (Plaza), a recent college grad with a hazy future, gets an internship at a Seattle magazine and quickly goes from stocking toilet paper and making coffee runs to time-travel and firearms training as she goes undercover to find the back story on the real person behind the ad. She skillfully negotiates her way in to head of the presumed crazy person that comes up with the preposterous idea of time travel. In turn, the story takes many interesting twists and turns that makes for a realistic feel and somewhat touching story, holding on to the audience. Meanwhile, wise-cracking, cynical Jeff (Johnson) the magazine reporter expounds on his disbelief of Kenneth’s (Duplass) ability to fulfill his proposition of time-travel, while he, Jeff, misses the whole point, entirely. Jeff’s focus is more of trying to reconnect with his old flame from high school. His somewhat serious, yet moronic persona is very much infantile, at times and never seems to have gotten past his glory days of college and partying. Hence, he is unable to prevent himself from influencing Arnau (Soni), the male counterpart of the intern-duo, from engaging in to what, he Jeff, thinks a twenty-one year old college intern should be experiencing every waking moment during the college years.
If one can get past the constant sarcastic, cynical remarks, then this is certainly a very entertaining flick. It reminds us that the ‘Indie’ genre is still alive and well and that some of the best story-telling can be done without the big budgets of Hollywood. I certainly was entertained with this movie and think that it deserves four stars for overall production to entertainment value.
By Movie-Man Stan
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