SXSW Review: Safety Not Guaranteed



SXSW: “Safety Not Guaranteed”

Where we’re going, we don’t need guarantees.

WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety Not Guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”

This cryptic classified ad inspires a Seattle Magazine reporter (Jake M. Johnson) and two interns (Aubrey Plaza, Karan Soni) to track down the source of the unusual request: a paranoid eccentric named Kenneth (Mark Duplass).

As you may have guessed by the confidence exuded in his classified ad, Kenneth has solved the age-old mystery of time travel and is seeking candidates to accompany him on his next mission.

Directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Derek Connolly, “Safety Not Guaranteed” is a wonderful little comedy – an unexpectedly heartwarming cinematic experience overflowing with positivity and the power of belief.

Aubrey Plaza plays Darius Britt, an intern who volunteers to go undercover and infiltrate the mysterious Kenneth’s time travel operations and, in the process, develops a bond that could not only compromise the magazine article she’s been assigned to, but the mission itself.

Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) is wonderful as always as the awkward (yet undeniably beautiful) outcast and Johnson (Nick from Fox’s “New Girl”) is great as the douchebag with a heart of gold who leaves in the interns in charge while he attempts to reconnect with an old flame.

I have to also mention the brilliant work of Mark Duplass (FX’s “The League”) who creates an intriguing, layered character who is fully committed to his mission – the chemistry of the entire ensemble is fantastic – everyone’s feeding off of each other and you can really feel the sparks between Duplass and Plaza in their endeavors to complete Kenneth’s time machine.

I’m in love with this movie. I want to write nerdy, extremely embarrassing, mumblecore fanfic about it. I want to take this movie out for a nice seafood dinner and call it back immediately and profess my love to it. I’m already thinking about colors for our future baby’s nursery.

Funny, sweet, magical – “Safety Not Guaranteed” is the heart and humor of John Hughes fused with the brain of “Back to the Future.” It will no doubt find a spot in your film library somewhere in-between “(500) Days of Summer” and “Donnie Darko.”

I was honored to see this movie at the gorgeous Paramount Theatre with 1200 film lovers laughing at every joke and cheering at every swelling moment of awesomeness. Austin, TX is a cinephile’s Graceland. If the fan reaction is any indication, “Safety Not Guaranteed” is going to be a huge success for Aubrey Plaza and Duplass Brothers Productions.

From the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to epic venues like the Paramount, every presentation is flawless and filled with polite, enthusiastic people who just love movies. That’s the best part of SXSW, honestly – getting to see movies with people who are just as passionate about them as you are.

If the fan reaction is any indication, “Safety Not Guaranteed” is going to be a huge success for Aubrey Plaza and Duplass Brothers Productions. You’re going to love this one!

Here’s some shots of the stars on the red carpet at the Premiere too – in order, Jake M. Johnson, Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza.