What would you do if you read this ad in your local paper? “WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid when we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed.” I like to think I’d get in touch, for sure.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) is a ‘Dramedy’ based on this classified advert that a man named Kenneth (Mark Duplass) has written. At a magazine publishing company, Jeff (Jake Johnson) proposes to investigate the author of the advert to chase an amusing article for the magazine. One of the interns, Darius (Aubrey Plaza) volunteers to join him, and a second intern, Arnau (Karan Soni) gets dragged along too. The three of them set out on a road trip to a coastal town to research the story.
It is very quickly evident that Jeff actually has a more important reason for taking the job on. It just so happens that his old high school crush Liz (Jenica Bergere) lives in this coastal town, and so he leaves both Darius and Arnau to do the work whilst he gets in contact with Liz to try and rekindle their romance. When that plan fails, Jeff takes Arnau out to make sure he doesn’t waste his youth. I enjoyed their side of the story, but it is secondary compared to that of Darius and Kenneth.
Darius succeeds where Jeff failed in gaining Kenneth’s trust thanks to her aloof yet tenacious attitude. Aubrey Plaza gets to play the sarcastic character she does so well but with a much more serious overtone this time around, which she nailed. She is one talented and awesome lady! I wasn’t expecting the story to take the romantic turn that it did, but it was fascinating to watch Darius and Jeff’s relationship grow.
What I loved most was the question you find yourself asking throughout the entire movie. Can Kenneth really travel back in time? There are no clues (that I noticed) that give any indication either way, but you are definitely left questioning Kenneth’s sanity more than once.
I won’t spoil anything for you, but the ending of Safety Not Guaranteed really got me thinking! At first I was a little disappointed, but the more I questioned it, the more I realised there just wasn’t a better ending. It was actually brilliant!
Highly recommended if you enjoy quirky little movies!