Still of Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza in Safety Not Guaranteed
Safety Not Guaranteed
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Colin Trevorrow
"WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91, Ocean view, WA. You'll get paid after we get back. must bring your own weapons. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED. I have only done this once before."
Based on a real ad published in a magazine in the mid-90s, Safety Not Guaranteed tells a quirky story about three magazine employees who go to Ocean View, WA to find the story behind the ad. Posing as an interested candidate, Darius (Aubrey Plaza) the unmotivated intern strikes up an unlikely friendship with the quirky and charmingly childish, self-proclaimed time traveler, Kenneth (Mark Duplass). Once he deems her trustworthy, Kenneth begins to train Darius for their time traveling mission to go back to 2001 and avoid the loss of their respective loved ones. Meanwhile, her coworkers, Arnau (Karan Soni), a nerdy Biology major, and her douchey boss Jeff (Jake Johnson), go on their own adventures––Jeff unsuccessfully revisiting an old flame and Arnau finally getting laid with the help of Jeff. The story between Darius and Kenneth was definitely the strongest of the plot lines. Though she's definitely been type-cast, Plaza plays her role well as a socially awkward young woman who finds a connection with the paranoid but adorable character of Kenneth. Duplass' role is the highlight of the film, as Kenneth at times seems mildly insane, and the audience is left to wonder whether his time traveling mission is reality, or construed by a scrambled mind, until the finale. Though I could've done without Jeff and Arnau's storyline, overall the movie left me smiling, and I can see it being a favorite amongst all you sentimental indie kids.