Saturday, June 23, 2012


SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, premiered at Sundance this year to sold out theaters and audience ovations.  It was a similar experience here in Chicago.  Safety Not Guaranteed starred Aubrey Plaza (Park and Rec),  Jake M. Johnson and Mark Duplass who is better know as a filmmaker for movies such as Jeff Who Lives at home and Your Sister's Sister.  Darius (Plaza), Jeff (Johnson), and Arnau (Karan Soni) work for a magazine.  In searching for their next story to write, Jeff happened upon an interesting ad about a guy in need of a time traveling partner.  The three set out to covertly interview this person and write a story.  All three magazine employees get more than they anticipated.

Time travel movies have been done before, but not like this one.  The three co-workers, actually Jeff was the only paid employee and the other two were interns, embarked upon an adventure to the state of Washington to find the person who placed an ad for a time travel partner.  After Jeff struck out as a trustworthy companion, Darius quickly took his place and earned Kenneth's (Mark Duplass) confidence.  The training then began.  Kenneth appeared sweet yet "not all there."   Further research into Kenneth's background indicated that may be the case, but Darius saw something else in Kenneth.  I watched as their relationship developed and found that I really cared about them.  Arnau and Jeff found other things to occupy their time and Jeff's true motive for traveling to that location was revealed.  Poor Arnau just wanted to do his job and gain experience for a "well-rounded resume."  Jeff certainly helped him become more well-rounded!

This was a smartly written, quick-witted script that each actor pulled off with ease.  Their quirky interactions were believable and made the storyline flow.  Aubrey Plaza's deadpan I-don't-care attitude so reminiscent of Parks and Rec, was a perfect match for the character of Darius.  She was the lead and delivered a solid performance.  Jeff Garlin and Kristen Bell were two other recognizable stars who had small parts which just made this an overall fun film.   I'll warn you.  Everyone in the audience, both at Sundance and in Chicago, audibly cheered at the end.  A wonderful film!

Take the time to see this movie!  You won't be disappointed!


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