Safety Not Guaranteed REVIEW

Safety Not Guaranteed film review: All heart

Safety Not Guaranteed.

“Psst. Someone told me denim is out again. Is that true?”

Release Date: 26 December 2012
15 | 86 minutes
Distributor: Vertigo Films
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Mark Duplass, Karan Soni

A classified is placed in a newspaper which reads: “WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.”

Is the guy who placed it a raving lunatic, or is he for real? That’s what a magazine journalist (Jake Johnson) and two young interns (Aubrey Plaza, Karan Soni) seek to find out, tracking down Kenneth (Mark Duplass), the chap who placed the ad. He’s eccentric alright, but is he genuine?

Interestingly, that’s not really the main thrust of this charming indie pic. Don’t go in expecting Looper or Back To The Future-style excitement here: this is all about relationships, how they’re different, how we have to adapt to others and how love means accepting all kinds of foibles. Each of the four main characters are likeable in their own way, despite our early reservations, and that seems to be the film’s message: give people a chance, don’t let first impressions rule completely, and take opportunities which can lead you into new and bracing experiences.

That’s the reason why SFX readers should take this film to their hearts, and not the (surprisingly slender) sci-fi elements. Safety Not Guaranteed is very neatly done: a human drama with some good laughs, winningly performed, and never predictable.

Russell Lewin

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