Safety Not Guaranteed
is a rare gem featuring wonderful performances from Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass. The premise is in the movie poster. A man is seeking a partner to time travel with him. He claims he’s done it once before. A Seattle magazine spots the ad and sends a writer and two interns to investigate.
The trio on assignment displays fantastic chemistry on-screen and are no strangers to comedy. Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) is the writer in charge while Darius (Aubrey Plaza) and Arnau (Karan Soni) are the interns assigned to help. Jeff is loud-mouthed, abrasive and carries over-confidence in order to mask his insecurities. Darius is a drifter with no life goals. She’s sharp-witted, funny, quirky and caring. Arnau is a smart college kid with confidence issues.
One at a time the magazine staff takes turns attempting to convince Kenneth (Duplass) they are interested in time travel. Kenneth eventually takes Darius under his wing and begins training her for time travel.
Through the entire film the audience wonders, “Is Kenneth crazy? Is he the real deal?” There are enough clues to support both arguments. Duplass delivers his lines with so much conviction, so much passion you can’t help but root for the guy. Who doesn’t love an underdog?
The film has many layers offering much to love. We witness two strangers develop a high level of trust, but Darius’ motivation is deceptive compared to Kenneth’s pure motivations. Will Darius side with Kenneth? Will she remain true to her job and report the story to her magazine? The meat and potatoes of the film lie with Plaza and Duplass. The passion put into their performances transfers beautifully on-screen. Because of their outstanding performances it becomes seamless to suspend disbelief and accept all that is happening in the film.
Balancing out the film are Jeff and Arnau. Each character grows the longer they stay. Jeff and Arnau combine for an unlikely buddy combo and deliver many laughs.
Safety Not Guaranteed is hard to classify because it has all of the following genres mashed together: romance, suspense, sci-fi, and comedy. Blend all of the elements listed and we’re left with one of the most satisfying movie experiences of the year. Safety Not Guaranteed is unique, clever, funny, heartwarming and will have you talking long after you view the film. Do not miss your chance to see this on the big screen.