Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Written by: Derek Connolly
MPAA Rating: R
Safety Not Guaranteed is about a lot of things. But the very basics are that a man places an ad in a Seattle newspaper searching for a time travel partner. The actual ad is in the poster above, and is where the movie gets it’s title. A reporter (Johnson; New Girl) who has ulterior motives takes two interns with him to the vacation spot where he used to spend his summers as a teen and also where the P.O. Box in the ad is. The interns are two outcasts, one our main protagonist, Darius (Aubrey Plaza; Parks & Recreation) who has been stuck since her mother’s death, along with the nerdy Arnau (Soni). After making contact with the seemingly crazy Kenneth (Duplass; The League, Zero Dark Thirty) Darius forms a strange bond with the man who just wants to go back to correct a past mistake.
Safety Not Guaranteed is one of those brilliant movies that is destined to have a very tiny small cult following that will love it with all their heart. And I guess I’m one of those people. It’s the type of movie that is unique and different and a great showing of just what film is capable of. It might have a pretty high concept, but it’s more grounded and character based more than anything else. It’s funny and sad and will stick in your head.
One of the best things about Safety Not Guaranteed is Aubrey Plaza. She hasn’t done a ton of huge parts so far in her career and this sort of more dramatic part is really something I was eager to see if she could pull off. And she did. She’s literally the perfect casting for this role. She does the comedy and drama and just becomes her character so incredibly well. This had to have been written with her in mind. Then you have Mark Duplass who is also perfectly cast (in fact the whole film is flawlessly cast, down to minor appearances of the likes of Kristen Bell & Mary Lynn Rajskub). He’s not only terrific as Kenneth, but his chemistry with Plaza is ridiculously good.
Like I mentioned this is sort of a drama, but it’s also a comedy and a really hilarious one at that. But the wonderful undercurrent of drama really brings out every joke. Writer Derek Connolly and Director Colin Trevorrow both just really nailed it here.
Overall Safety Not Guaranteed is a really terrific movie about sadness, regret, love, and age, that is hilarious and touching and you should see as soon as you can. Right now it’s streaming on Netflix, but when that inevitably stops you can still get it via the links below.
Also on Amazon Instant Video and