Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

Posted: July 1, 2012 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , ,

Sometimes you come across a simple little movie that focus’ more on the heart of the story rather than those pesky details. Safety Not Guaranteed is not meant to be taken seriously, but is for those who like to let their imagination run free.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Starring: Audrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Premise: A journalist comes across a weird ad in the wanted section about a man claiming to own a time machine wanting someone to go back in time with him. This journalist (New Girl’s Jake Johnson) and his two interns, Darius (Audrey Plaza) and Arnau (Karan Soni) go on an expedition to find out more about this guy and if what he says is true. They come across Kenneth (Mark Duplass). A weird, yet oddly endearing paranoid, loner genius, who truly believes everything he wrote. Darius, a hipster, quirky outcast unable to relate to anyone, proves to be the best choice in discovering more about Kenneth and along the way she happens to gain more than she bargains for.

My Review: Safety Not Guaranteed dances the line between reality and science fiction. Much like another indie, Another Earth, while the story is about the characters and their complicated lives, there is an element of fantasy and sci-fi that keeps you on your toes. And the ending packs a punch you don’t expect.

Sometimes two wrongs can make a right. Sometimes you feel awkward or out of place because you’re trying to fit yourself into a round hole when you’re shaped like a triangle. This movie is about trying to find where you fit instead of forcing yourself down someone else’s path.

Kenneth is strange. He’s paranoid, intense, and upon first glance the kind of guy you avoid on the street, mostly because you’re sure he believes in aliens and would probably smother you in your sleep.  Darius is an outcast. She is different and everyone takes notice. She’s sarcastic, sullen, and seems hopelessly directionless. That is, until she meets Kenneth. Somehow when these two meet it’s as if they found each other. They just fit. They are willing to believe each other’s stories, even though they’ve always been skeptics at heart. And when it comes time to make a decision—when it comes time to just jump—they do, without hesitating. It’s breathtaking to watch really.

The ending leaves you feeling slightly uneasy at first. What’s going to happen to these people? You are left watching with breathless anticipation. But what happens to them is not the point. The specifics aren’t the point. The point is: just jump. And anything that happens after that will be an adventure. It’s that feeling that gives you hope…even with all the unfinished business the movie leaves behind.

Safety Not Guaranteed is a simple little movie with complex thoughts and feelings. The actors are sublime, particularly Audrey Plaza and Mark Duplass, who have crazy chemistry together.  You care about the characters and what happens to them. And even if we don’t get all the answers in the end, you still leave feeling satisfied. Now go find who fits with you!

Rating: 3 ½ Stars (out of 5)





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