Darius (Aubrey Plaza) is an outsider on life, a victim of the terrible journeys we experience as we make our ultimate journey. Struggling to get work, she finally settles as an intern at a Seattle based magazine. As part of her latest work assignment she is sent to a seaside resort to investigate an advert in the classified that requests a companion to travel back in time with, the advert states the position is paid upon return and the person must bring their own weapon. With boss Jeff (Jake Johnson), and fellow intern Arnau (Karan Soni), Darius meets up with introverted Kenneth (Mark Duplass), the man who placed the advert, in an attempt to discover if he really can time travel, and scoop the big story, but will part of Darius be lost in the journey?
Safety Not Guaranteed is an addictive story set around one of those big questions we all have through life, what would we change if we could go back in time? Well this is what we think the story is all about, the story is certainly about change, but those changes are based very much in the present. This is a tale of love, re-kindling love, and discovering the feelings of romance for the first time.
This is on the whole mainly a comedy piece; most of the jokes come from New Girl star Jake Johnson, who brings his character’s key points into this project, highlighting the most unpleasant parts of his character (Nick in New Girl) here. When the comedy slides away, we have some interesting studies of characters we might all be only too familiar with. Everyone in life has regrets, and the more serious side of the movie is the study of those regrets.
Those who stumble upon the movie looking for a bit of science fiction fun will be pretty upset with the movie, although the aspect of can Kenneth time travel or not dominates the entire movie. To sum up the movie in a word however refreshing is without a doubt the best one that can be used. There is an almost old world charm about the film, a very 1980’s feel of the feature, so regardless of if Kenneth travels through time or not, the movie certainly does. This is a movie that will inspire its fans to revisit it time, and time again, because in a reasonably bland current cinema market, Safety Not Guaranteed offers something very different.
Supporting roles include Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Jeff Garlin, 24 actress Mary Lynne Rajskub and Kristen Bell, who all bring this relatively low budget feature, a higher value. But unlike many movies on the market at present, this is not about the money, it’s about the story, and it’s a pretty good one too.