• James Rutherford

'Safety Not Guaranteed': The Highly Amusing Tale of a Misfit in Search of a Time Travel Companion


Movie poster for the film Safety Not Guaranteed starring Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass

"Safety Not Guaranteed" (2012) is a offbeat and endearing comedy starring Aubrey Plaza as Darius, a Seattle-based magazine intern who investigates the source of a newspaper advertisement in search of a partner in time travel—the notice including the titular caveat that personal safety cannot be guaranteed. Teaming with lead writer Jeff Schwensen (Jake Johnson) and fellow intern Arnau (Karan Soni), Darius travels to the seaside community of Oceanview, Washington to locate and profile local oddball Kenneth Calloway (Mark Duplass), an eccentric grocery store clerk in search of a companion for a forthcoming journey to the past. Posing as an earnest candidate for Calloway's mission, Darius is able to gain his trust after passing a series of training exercises—soon immersing herself in his frenzied world of militant discipline, conspiracy theorism and abject desperation to reverse the tragic death of his former girlfriend. The feature film debut of director Colin Trevorrow ("Jurassic World", "The Book of Henry"), "Safety Not Guaranteed" is a wonderfully charming escapade, highlighted by Plaza and Duplass' wholly appealing performances as the most unlikely of compatriots. The scriptwork by Derek Connolly ("Kong: Skull Island", "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker") ultimately incorporates hints of nascent fantasy that unfold seamlessly along the course of the storyline, effecting a highly amusing tale of redemption and unique revelation.

 

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