So much attention is being place on the superhero blockbusters and raunchy comedies of some fan favorite actors that there are bound to be some quality movies to fly under people’s radar. And this is true every year really. But a few weeks ago I managed to catch a movie that is not receiving too much attention now but it definitely will in year to come, Safety Not Guaranteed. Most romance movies these days are so lovie-dovie that they rarely seem sincere and honestly believable. For example, that latest piece of crap with Zac Efron, it just felt like the “romance” was being forced done our throats (no sexual pun intended). Instead what Safety Not Guaranteed offers is something more genuine with real humor, a true romantic-comedy.
Here is brief set up of the movie: Darius (Aubrey Plaza) can best be described as a loner, maybe even a sad sack, who just cannot seem to find joy in anything since the death of her mother when she was a kid. As an intern for a magazine she volunteers along with another intern, Arnau (Karan Soni), to go with a senior journalist, Jeff (Jake Johnson), to see about an ad in a newspaper asking for a partner to go back in time with. When they meet the source of the ad, Kenneth (Mark Duplass), Darius has to earn his trust in order to know his secret for time travel but finds there is more to Kenneth than his paranoid scientific exterior. Here is the trailer:
If reading this you feel turned off by the fact that Safety Not Guaranteed is somewhat of a romance, don’t be. This is still very much a comedy and believe me there is plenty of it. The reason the romance should not bother you is because it is so well written. It is written in a way that the characters that fall in love feels natural and the development of the characters as a result feels so real. I mean none of the three members from the magazine are there really to report of Kenneth’s discovery. Darius is there to essentially run away from her boring everyday life, Jeff (being the playboy he is) wants to hook up with an old flame from high school, and Arnau given his love for science just wants to know if time travel is possible not necessarily report on it. And Kenneth as socially awkward as he is, you cannot help but feel a connection with him because he is sincere with his mission and his growing relationship with Darius.
These characters, no matter how well written they are, are dependent on the quality of the actor playing them. I have read other reviews that have been criticizing Aubrey Plaza but I thought she was the best part of the movie. Even though Safety Not Guaranteed is about Kenneth’s ad, the movie really follows Plaza’s character and she does a great job of being very bland at the start but shifts to a rounded character be the conclusion of the film. Plus to quote Arnau, Plaza is a “beautiful girl” so I may be a bit biased. Since I mentioned Arnau, Karan Soni rocked as this character. Even if it is an easy role to play, he did not over act and he did not under act but instead reminded you of that smart, quite student in your class that just understood everything the teacher was talking about. Last but certain not least Duplass as Kenneth, initially annoying with paranoia but once he lets his guard down to Plaza you cannot help but pull for him. Plus the song he played on the sitar (lap guitar thing) was really good!
If Safety Not Gauranteed is in a theater near you, I highly recommend paying the money to go see it and hopefully we will get more indie films of this nature in the works! 10/10