I did not have high hopes for this movie, but it truly went beyond my expectations. Safety Not Guaranteed is one of the better-written stories I have seen in a while. Given a lack of creative camera movements and seemingly unintentional jump cuts, the movie feels low budget. More importantly however, it has rich characters that are complimented by honest performances.
The story is about love, but not a love story. Not surprisingly writer Derek Connolly won many awards including the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where the movie debuted, and Best First Screenplay at the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards. Connolly uses every tool in a writer’s box to entertain and inspire the audience. He starts us off with a great hook, wondering if Kenneth, played by Mark Duplass, can actually time travel, and keeps us continually drawn to it with hints of legitimacy. Depressed, but relatable characters made me root for them all the way through the movie and hope they get what they want. All the main characters change in attempts to reach their goals.
Three people from a Chicago newspaper venture into the suburbs to write a story about a man who has put an ad in a local paper looking for a partner to travel back in time with. Kenneth, who placed the ad, cannot guarantee safety on this adventure to go where nobody has gone before. As Darius, played by Aubrey Plaza, tries to make sense of Kenneth, she loses sight of her job as a reporter in hopes of a greater experience. Safety Not Guaranteed is worth a watch especially with someone you care about.