There’s something special about Safety Not Guaranteed. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s available on Netflix Instant.
The Sundance award winner for best writing is based off of an actual ad that ran saying “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.”
The result is nothing short of brilliant, by far one of the best romances in recent memory, and by far one of the most unique.
Adapting such a short ad into a well-deserved best-screenplay award at Sundance is a huge accomplishment for green writer Derek Connolly. The direction of Colin Trevorrow and the perfect actors to execute the script yield a surprisingly real and touching film.
It begins with a journalist named Jeff (Jake Johnson) as he takes two interns to track down the source of the ad for a magazine story. In reality, Jeff volunteers for the trip in order to track down a girl from high school.
Darius (Aubrey Plaza), one of the interns, ends up earning the trust of Kenneth (Mark Duplass), a local grocery store worker who placed the ad in the paper. As the pair begins their training together with dramatic exercises and shooting lessons, Darius is forced to continue the ruse even as she begins to question if she should continue with her deception.
Plaza’s dark and brooding persona as an intern is transformed into a snarky, time traveler-wannabe. When combined with the unbelievable innocence of Duplass’ alleged time traveler, a different sort of love story results.
Though it could have been another overplayed romance, what results is a far more complicated and real situation that needs to be seen to be really understood.
Safety Not Guaranteed is one of those movies that has it all; comedy, romance, life-lessons and even a bit of science-fiction fill the hour-and-a-half movie.
The unknown actors and direction allow the writing to truly come to life in one of the few movies in recent movies that cannot be missed.