Safety Not Guaranteed ****

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Now this one really snuck under the radar for me. I never even heard of it until it hit the home market. What a shame because this is such a wonderful movie. It is all based on a unique premise that builds in suspense and character to an ending that does not disappoint.

The movie stars Audrey Plaza from “Parks And Rec”. She plays a Darius, a disillusioned college grad who lives at home with her widowed father. She interns at a Seattle magazine. When one of the senior writers proposes they investigate a bizarre classified ad she jumps at the opportunity to help. The ad reads:
Wanted: Someone 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.

Seems crazy but when Darius meets the author of the ad she is instantly won over by his absolute conviction. He is Kenneth played by Mark Duplass. Duplass gives one of the year’s best performances as a man that truly believes he can travel through time.

Whether Kenneth can travel through time or not is definitely addressed in this movie but what I truly appreciated was the way the director, Colin Trevorrow, uses this wacky setup as a way to get to know some very peculiar characters. We learn a lot about these people, especially some of their heart breaking reasons as to why they might even attempt time travel.

The screenplay, written by Derek Connolly, comes with real heart and depth but also has some ingenious surprises. It ends on a note that has me wanting to view this movie a few more times.

Not a lot of movies really resonate with me after I see them but I will admit that “Safety Not Guaranteed” kept me awake for some of the night I saw it. It got me thinking about what moment in time I would maybe travel back and change.

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