Review | Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

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1 word: Beautiful (9/10)

Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) is the type of sweet, low-budget indie comedy with an intelligent heart that’s slowly become synonymous with the Sundance Film Festival. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson and mumble-core director Mark Duplass, Safety Not Guaranteed is a pitch perfect slice of contemporary American cinema with an intriguing sci-fi twist.

Less a film about time travel, but rather a moving and witty comedy that just so happens to include time travel, Safety Not Guaranteed is a pitch-perfect example of smart American indie filmmaking at its best. Using its intriguing science fiction premise to bulk out the film’s overriding theme of regret, Trevorrow’s film has far more in common with a life-affirming road movie or coming of age comedy than it does with special effects laden blockbusters. It’s this focus on character development and a natural, smart and often hilarious script which makes Safety not Guaranteed such a immensely enjoyable film.

Every single member of the film’s minute cast puts in a tremendous performance, however, Johnson as the roguish man-boy reporter is perhaps the most endearing. The delivery of his lines and ability to allow the audience to warm to his childlike obnoxiousness is superb, stealing the spotlight from Plaza’s starring role and even outdoing Duplass’ Timothy Treadwell-inspired eccentric, obsessive time traveller.

Highly original and incredibly entertaining, Safety Not Guaranteed is just the type of refreshing and intelligent film you trawl through film festival programs in search of – a real jewel in the crown…

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