Posted by Jill Boniske aka Arty Chick on March 24, 2013
Sometimes not knowing what you’re getting into can be a great thing. Indie films are perfect for that since they haven’t usually been hyped and marketed to death. And though I had heard about a movie that dealt with time travel, one of my favorite subjects, I did not know a lot more about Safety Not Guaranteed, which happens to be a great little indie flick. No big stars. No special effects. All right, maybe just a few. No homage to another film. Just an original, well-done comedy love story about a bunch of misfits.
The story begins in a Seattle magazine, with the editor-in-chief is asking the writers sitting around a table for their story pitches. They’re mostly silent, but one writer, Jeff (Jake Johnson), has an idea. He’s found a want ad in a small town paper looking for a time traveling companion. He thinks it could be a great story. The editor agrees, and Jeff along with interns Darius and Arnau heads out to a little seaside town where they stake out the P.O. box from the ad. Eventually Kenneth (Mark Duplas) turns up. It turns out he works in a grocery store and seems pretty harmless. But when Jeff tries to approach him at his house, he won’t talk to him and acts pretty paranoid. So Jeff enlists intern Darius (Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Recreation) to pretend she wants to be Kenneth’s time traveling companion and find out what his story is. She connects pretty easily and reports back to Jeff, while continuing to get deeper and deeper into Kenneth’s “training program”, even helping him steal some components he needs for his time machine.
What is fun about the film is that you are constantly questioning whether the guy is a kook or maybe just maybe he is onto something. And of course that is what Darius is doing as well, as she also falls for him. Meanwhile Jeff has an ulterior motive for having taken this story; there’s a girl he had a thing for many years ago who lives in the same town. So he makes a stab at reconnecting. And even nerdy intern Arnau has a love connection while on this unlikely assignment.
Safety Not Guaranteed is a fun little film about love and acceptance. It’s quirky, as indies tend to be, but smart and the actors are all just right. I’d recommend it for people who are tired of the big budget, CGI bonanzas, and who just want to be entertained by a good yarn.
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