Charming characters, scenic backdrops, original concept and many “Star Wars” references – “Safety Not Guaranteed” is the ideal indie film.
“Wanted: Somebody 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.”
Inspired by a last minute joke filler ad that appeared in the Blackwoods Home Magazine in 1997, writer Derek Connolly combined this seed of an idea with a desire to work with Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”), and a film was born.
Darius (Plaza) is a disillusioned magazine intern traveling with experienced writer Jeff (Jake Johnson, “New Girl) and fellow naïve intern Arnau (Karan Soni) to write a story about Kenneth (Mark Duplass), the man in question looking for a time travel partner in a seaside town.
After Jeff fails his potential travel partner interview with Kenneth, Darius steps up and begins to form a bond with the strange but sincere Kenneth. But while she is the only one having serious discussions about time travel, all of the magazine trio are seeking to step back in time in some way.
Jeff is not so interested in the story as he is in looking up his old High School sweetheart who resides in the town and reliving his glory days, and Arnau is a 22 year old virgin holding on to his boyhood by hiding behind a computer and glasses.
All three must realise that what they have found in the little town in Washington State may not be what they are looking for, but may be just what they needed.
The interaction in particular between Plaza, Johnson and Duplass is captivating, every one of the actors draws you in to their journey, and the dialogue is continually sharp and piercing.
Whether time travel or not is possible is not really the point. This movie is really about making connections and giving people a chance. Go see it if you can, a stand out movie of the year.