Monday, 9 March 2015

Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

Recently I watched Safety Not Guaranteed (2012), directed by Colin Trevorrow, written by Derek
Connolly and starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson. Here's the descriptor from imbd:

"Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel."

One of the main things that drew me to pick this film off of Netflix was Aubrey Plaza, since I enjoy her as April on Parks and Recreation. However, I think she has been a bit type-cast, as her character in Safety Not Guaranteed is pretty similar.

The other thing that drew me in was the idea of time travel. I love the idea of time travel and seeing history first-hand. Unfortunately, while trying not to give too much away, we never see my favourite eras, as the time machine is only set for 2001.

In fact, this story is way more about the characters than time travel anyway. We have Darius (Aubrey Plaza), surly and antisocial after the death of her mother and working as a magazine intern. Then there's Darius's fellow intern Arnau (Karan Soni), an awkward nerd who falls into a bit of a stereotype. Next is Jeff (Jake Johnson), Darius's boss and general jerk who only took the assignment for the chance to hook up with his high-school summer girlfriend Liz. And finally we have Kenneth (Mark Duplass), the placer of the time travel ad. He is very awkward and odd and I spent the entire film trying to decide if he was crazy.

The basic storyline is nothing too groundbreaking: Darius is sent in to answer the ad for their article, but she and Kenneth develop a real connection. As I mentioned, I spent the movie trying to decide if Kenneth was for real or was crazy, and Darius was in the same situation.

There's a secondary storyline about Jeff looking up his old girlfriend which ends with one character being painfully realistic. This starts another subplot of Jeff trying to get Arnau to live life to the fullest while he has his youth. While that is a nice sentiment, he goes about it in a completely creepy way involving  drunk high school kids.

While the movie was a bit predictable, it was also a bit heart-warming and thought-provoking at the same time and I did enjoy it, despite the lack of Victorian dresses and dinosaurs.

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