Time traveler pursued in ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’

By Guillermina Rodriguez

Movies that are not box office hits are played on the big screen only for a limited time, and some never even make it to theaters.

One of these movies, “Safety Not Guaranteed,” was presented in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and released for limited viewing in theaters in June 2012.

Even though the movie had a limited release, it received 91 percent of positive reviews from 137 critics on the popular movie rating website, “Rotten Tomatoes.”

It is easy to see why the movie received great reviews. “Safety Not Guaranteed” is entertaining, funny, charming and unexpected.

The movie revolves around Seattle Magazine writer Jeff, played by Jake Johnson, and two interns, Darius, played by Aubrey Plaza and Arnau, played by Karan Soni.

The journalists go on an assignment to interview the writer of a peculiar classified ad, Kenneth, played by Mark Duplass.

The ad 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.”

Jeff tries to befriend Kenneth, but it does not work. It is up to Darius to attract Kenneth into trusting her to take her on the journey of time travel and go back to 2001.

Throughout the film, the characters develop and flourish within their flaws and learn about themselves.

Jeff is an egotistical writer who takes on this assignment to reconnect with someone from his past and is forced to confront his true age. Johnson brings dry and monotonic humor to his character.

Darius is introverted and lacks any social life. She walks through life not getting attached to anyone.

The death of her mother is pinpointed as the cause of her change. Her gloomy humor and quick quips add charm to the movie.

Arnau is just the awkward, stereotypical nerdy college student who is interning at the magazine to make his graduate school application well rounded, but during the assignment he learns there is more to life than just filling out applications.

Plaza’s character, Darius, tells lies throughout the film, but it is not her words that capture the audience. Instead, the young actress, who has made her mark as April on the television series “Parks and Recreation,” uses her facial expressions to silently express her character’s pain.

Darius and Kenneth instantly form a bond. Their chemistry can be seen from their first encounter.

Though Kenneth is portrayed as being a little bit crazy, his passion for time travel and his reason for going back win Darius over.

Given Darius’ personality she can relate to Kenneth because she knows how it feels to not belong ” to be an outsider.

Even with the possibility that Kenneth can be crazy, Darius becomes attracted to him.

The entire movie revolves around the concept of who is really crazy and the ending is unexpected and leaves you feeling satisfied.

Laughs are not wasted and humor is placed in a careful and tasteful manner.

Overall, the movie, which can now be found on Netflix, did have some slow moments, but they were compensated with humor.

Rating: 4/5

SNG

Courtesy Big Beach Films

SNG

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