Thursday, July 26, 2012

Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

Director:     Colin Trevorrow
Writer:         Derek Connolly

Aubrey Plaza     Darius
Basil Harris     Restaurant Manager
Mary Lynn Rajskub     Bridget
Jake M. Johnson     Jeff
Karan Soni     Arnau
David Schultz     Coworker (as David Leo Schultz)
Jeff Garlin     Mr. Britt
Mark Duplass     Kenneth
William Hall Jr.     Shannon
Alice Hung     Shift Manager
Hassan Cristos Messiah     Boyfriend in car
Keli Schurman-Darby     Girlfriend in car
Jenica Bergere     Liz
Lynn Shelton     Uptight Mom

Just how far will a news reporter go to get a good story?  Safety Not Guaranteed puts the emphasis on WHEN in the typical journalistic question when a Seattle reporter and his two young interns travel to a small town to get the scoop on an ad where a man is asking for a partner to join him in time travel.

The reporter’s actually got a mission of his own. His old flame’s still in town and he’d like to see if he can rekindle the romance.  That leaves his two interns struggling and scrounging for the story.

Darius, the young female, ends up being the partner chosen. Every time she thinks she’s got an idea what’s happening, she’s not entirely sure. Is Kenneth really a time traveler? Is he a spy like the Government agents who are tailing them tell her—or is he just plain crazy?

The story’s a fascinating study of human nature and relationships. Tony and I were somewhat disappointed that we got more social science than science fiction; however this was a good watch on a week-day matinee. Audrey Plaza as Darius stole the show. Her downplayed style of acting was perfect for her role—she had Kenneth convinced on-screen as well as the rest of us in the movie. We were definitely on the edge of our seats for the last part of the movie wondering—was Kenneth for real? Was someone going to get hurt?

I don’t think I’ll see this film again unless it came on television. Still, Safety Not Guarateed is one film that will leave you wondering well after you left the theater.  It was definitely worth the matinee price.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012

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