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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.

23 comments:

  1. Good review. This movie was good and charming, in it's own little, indie-way, but there was too much going on to really have me care for this main story. I loved Plaza though, and I think she's one of these actresses that should have made movies, just for her. I know that's crazy but she's so talented.

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    1. I need to see Miss Plaza play a completely different personality before I can call her talented. She needs to be the ditzy best friend in a comedy.

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  2. I agree that this movie wasn't anything special. It really surprises me that people loved this movie, and it got such great buzz.

    I did think the title was fitting because I think its suggests another meaning and not necessarily that of being in danger. I think it speaks more to (or tries to) being outside of your comfort zone - (i.e. SPOILERS Darius letting go of the past, Amau losing his virginity, Jeff trying for a deeper meaningful relationship)

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    1. Yeah but Amau was basically giving that girl by Jeff he did not have to work at getting her in to bed. It was all arranged before he set foot in that room. He was still in his comfort zone.

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    2. But Jeff went out on limb open himself up to genuine emotion... and Amau too a step into something he had never experience before as well. No matter that the sexual situations were handed to them, I think they did step outside their comfort zones in alot of ways.

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    3. When Amau was in the room with the girl the movie just leaves and we really have no clue on how the sex went. He could have been just as nervous and could not perform or maybe he found something else about his sexuality that he never thought about before. I wanted to see the awkward sex between the two characters because you never see that in movies.

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  3. I just skimmed through the review since I haven't seen this yet but still extremely interested to do so. I kind of reckoned there would be little, if any, time travel involved.

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    1. There really isn't that much time traveling I'm afraid. If there is I'll make sure to reset the Way Back Machine.

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  4. Drat, and I had such high hopes for this movie. It intrigued me for a little bit but, really a time travel movie without any time travel is kind of fail.

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    1. The time travel element is at the very end and it doesn't make much sense. Thanks for the comment

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  5. I am sad to see your rating, but will read the review after watching it myself ):

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    1. I look forward to hear what you think about it.

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  6. This movie was good up to the end. First, the two main actors just HAD to fall in love. Then it started getting confusing at the end - they thought they were being smart and providing a good twist, but if left me saying, "What?" But despite its shortcomings, it still stood out for me, especially how fresh it was (compared to the likes of Battleship and The Dictator). It made my Honorable Mentions on my Best of 2012 (So Far) List. http://randomfilmbuff.com/2012/08/04/d-8/

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    1. I liked Aubrey Plaza enough to give this one another shot. Would have liked this a lot more if they didn't over play the romantic angle between the two leads. Thanks for commenting

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  7. you didn't get the movie at all. it was not about time travel. time travel was the subplot to get into the deeper messages the movie held.I love love love movies that don't focus on what other films like it do. it sets it apart and makes it it's own. i loved this movie to death. 96%

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    1. Thank you very much for commenting. I can agree with you that the movie is not fully about time travel, but please tell me what these deep messages the movie held. All I saw was two characters who really should not be in a relationship, get into one because that is what the plot requires, It's a basic Katherine Hiegle(sorry for mispell) type romcom in indie clothes.

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    2. Firstly, it is about capturing the youth of the two title characters, and it is doing that to remind you, the viewer, of the simpler things in life, and to remind you of your inner child.It focused on relationships, but not just romantic, it also focused on platonic relationships, ie friendships.

      Yes, other countless movies have done this in the past, however, not in this fashion. Using time travel as that extra factor truly made this movie what it was.

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    3. Hmmm Fascinating Anology you have about the themes of this movie. I may need to check this out again, but I still disagree and here's why.

      You mentioned that it captures the youth of the two title characters. I'm sorry but isn't Mark Duplass about ten times older than Audrey Plaza, and where does it remind you of your inner child? That idea of finding the happier side of life after you fall in love is something that is used in every single romcom. Using the whole time travel element doesn't make it that much special. I'm not saying these two shouldn't hook up. But they both seem to jump into a relationship without clearly thinking it over. A solid relationship is built on trust and I don't see the character that Duplass played to be very trustworthy. As for Plaza's character, she is just too hateful on herself to be in a healthy relationship. She wants the person she's dating to be a bit more unstable then her so she can be the one in control. Both characters are damaged and although it's a nice thought to have two misfits find eachother and fall in love. They both need to be happy with themselves before they can even try to make another person be happy.

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    4. Just relax when watching a movie. I gave this movie 96%, I gave Ruby Sparks 98%, but don't think I don't rate others lower, because I most certainly do. There are plenty I would burn, and feel like I could kill myself over.

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