Sunday, May 27, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed (SIFF 2012) - Movie Review

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this movie since I knew very little about it other than reading a brief synopsis and watching the trailer a few times. The use of time travel as a plot device in a small film like this was still very intriguing so I was certainly excited about the possibilities.

Also, there's the fact that this film was not only set in Washington, but the whole thing was filmed in and around the greater Seattle area which means you should go see it for no other reason than to support a locally produced movie. Oh, and its also really good.

First, here's the story. Jeff (Jake Johnson) is a writer for Seattle Magazine who, along with interns Darius (Aubrey Plaza) and Arnau (Karan Soni), head out to discover just what type of person would place a classified ad inviting people to join in on a time travel expedition. Kenneth (Mark Duplass) is the person the team is looking for and, upon discovering him by stalking the PO Box he listed in the ad, they realize there may be a lot more to what is going on than just a random prank or a crazy person's delusional fantasies.

By all accounts this strange, yet weirdly believable man seems to really be on a mission to successfully go back in time and before she knows it, Darius has joined him on what is thought to be an impossible quest. This is the type of movie that I don't like to give too much information about as there are a lot of plot twists and guessing games going on, its better to know as little as possible going in. Does Kenneth really get to time travel? Will Darius be able to reconcile her past so she can move forward with her life? Will Arnau ever get laid? These are the types of things that are best left to discovering while watching the movie.

Before watching "Safety Not Guaranteed" I had no idea who Aubrey Plaza was, but after seeing her here, I am looking forward to what she might have in store for us down the road. From what I understand, she has been on some TV shows, but I believe she will be able to step up and take on more leading roles in feature films and hopefully become the type of actress that can take on the more challenging roles.

The biggest surprise about this movie was just how heartfelt and intimate of a story it is. You quickly begin to like just about everyone in the movie even with each of their distinct character flaws and personality disorders. The fact that it is a very hard movie to label or categorize (science fiction, fantasy, romantic comedy, coming of age) is what makes it the most satisfying. It is really just a genuinely entertaining story that I hope a lot of people get to see.


Check out my other 2012 SIFF reviews HERE!

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