Thursday, July 19, 2012
Safety Not Guaranteed: Movie Review
Safety Not Guaranteed.
Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass
Writer: Derek Connolly
Director: Colin Trevorrow
* and a 1/2 out of four.
If the idea of time traveling is one of the main aspects of a story. Shouldn't there be some elements of it used and not just at the very end. This indie comedy wants to sell itself as being whimsical and smart when it's anything but. The whole time traveling aspect of the story never was put to any good use at all. They could of just used space travel or "Quantum Leap" style transports as well. From the above poster and a few trailers. I was expecting almost a comedic version of those serious movies about time travel such as "Primer" and "Sound Of My Voice" but instead I got a movie that was just sort of bland.
Darius(Aubrey Plaza) is an intern at a local newspaper who along with her co intern Arnau(Karen Sonai) and boss Jeff (Jake M Johnson) seek out a man called Kenneth(Mark Duplass) who claims he can time travel and write a story about how crazy he is. Darius at first pretends to be interested him but then slowly starts to fall in love and believe his wild stories.
It's established early on that Darius did not have a lot of friends when she was growing up and is still a virgin. I really had a hard time suspending belief on that one because she is actually really cute. Your expecting me to believe that in her whole life there was not one person who tried to have sex with her. I understood why both her and Kenneth would be interested in each other but I never once got the impression that they were actually in love. Especially since his whole reason for wanting to go back in time is to save his old girlfriend from being killed. Near the end when she discovers the truth I would think she would use some common sense before diving in to a relationship with the guy, but she doesn't. There is also a subplot about Jeff wanting to hook back up with his high school sweetheart that belonged in another movie. The main problem of that story is that he only wanted to have sex with her at first but then convinces himself that he is in love with her after she gives him a few home cooked meals and some back rubs. The movie wants us to believe that he is the nice guy because he had this change of feelings, but when one person is doing all the work in the relationship it's really hard to call that feeling love.
Aubrey Plaza is a talented comedian but doesn't have the right type of appeal to be a lead role. Mark Duplass is the only one on screen that has any sort of charisma. Even though his character may not all be there. I found him to be actually sort of charming. I have never seen the movies that him and his brother Jay have directed but I may have to check one of them out soon. My favorite moment of this movie was the one with Kristen Bell because her character is the most honest one in the whole movie. Yet, the filmmakers wants us to hate her and think of her as some kind of a bitch.
The movie should not have been called "Safety Not Guaranteed" because I never got any sense these characters were in danger. Also if Kenneth has done this once before, shouldn't that come into play somewhere in this story. Right now it sits at 92% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.com, but this was one movie I wish I could go back in time to forget.