Thursday, November 8, 2012

Under 250: Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed is an indie comedy that doesn't bother with mumbling and bumbling along a road of uncertainty. Ironic, perhaps, because in many ways the actual narrative finds the characters doing just that.  Parks and Rec's wonderfully droll Aubrey Plaza stars as Darius, an awkward 20-something magazine intern who sets off on assignment with two co-workers (Karan Soni, Jake Johnson) to try and investigate a guy (Mark Duplass) who placed a mysterious classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.  Does he have the technology?  Is he insane?  And what, we wonder, did the characters hope to find when they took up the job?  The results are surprising, and the relationships drawn between characters carve out surprisingly beautiful little spaces at the edge of the improbable.  This is -simply put- the way you go about blending quiet science fiction with small budget, very human storytelling.  Where a film like Looper weighs itself down in explanation, Safety Not Guaranteed creates a context where we're capable of accepting the possibility of the impossible without incident. Its confident in the path it's taking, and the actors carry themselves with an odd deprecating confidence. They are these characters, and somehow that link-up saves a potentially too-twee or wishy-washy story from wallowing in the treacly mire. In other words: Safety Not Guaranteed succeeds at actually being funny even as it's lovely and human.  It works.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those films where the filmmaker takes you on an audacious journey and makes you believe every moment of it. A nice debut from Trevorrow and Connolly.

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