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Safety Not Guaranteed

There is something heartbreakingly true in witnessing a wizened writer in his mid-30s demand of an intern: “Why are you sitting there in front of that screen? You’re a young man!” Why are we sitting in front of that screen, indeed? That’s a truer basis for Safety Not Guaranteed than its origins as an Internet meme, a late-’90s want ad of sorts that sought a time-travel companion. For our purposes, screenwriter Derek Connolly has reimagined the infamous clipping by tracing it back to a sleepy seaside town in Washington. It’s there that tenured magazine contributor Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) drags two listless interns (Karan Soni and Aubrey Plaza) in an attempt to secretly profile an earnest if unhinged grocery-store clerk who fancies himself a regular Doc Brown (Mark Duplass). The skeptical trio stumbles onto what is possibly the greatest space-time paradox: You can never go back, except when you can. This is the rare film where dialogue is natural; the major players gloss over their respective tales of love and loss, yet we know every detail through the kind of inference that makes us feel like a part of the conversation. Subtle, too, is what the film does with the source material—specifically, a line in the ad that reads “I’ve only done this once before.” Keep these words in mind. Without saying too much, I’d suggest they add a gratifying, if unspoken, subplot.

Special Note

 Fox Tower.
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Running Time: 84 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, June 8, 2012
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Language, Some Sexual References ]
  • Critic's Score: A
  • Starring: Aubrey Plaza [Darius Britt], Mark Duplass [Kenneth Calloway], Jake Johnson [Jeff], Jenica Bergere [Liz McHollis], Kristen Bell [Belinda St. Sing], Jeff Garlin [Mr. Britt], Mary Rajskub [Bridget Bay], Karan Soni [Arnau]
  • Directed by: Colin Trevorrow [Director], Derek Connolly [Screenwriter], Marc Turtletaub [Producer], Peter Saraf [Producer], Stephanie Langhoff [Producer], Derek Connolly [Producer], Colin Trevorrow [Producer], Mark Duplass [Executive Producer], Jay Duplass [Executive Producer], John Hodges [Executive Producer], Michael Clark [Executive Producer], Benjamin Kasulke [Cinematographer], Franklin Peterson [Film Editor], Joe Landauer [Film Editor], Ryan Miller [Original Music], Ben Blankenship [Production Design], Lisa Hammond [Art Director], Rebecca Luke [Costume Designer], J.C. Cantu [Casting], Kat Ogden [Casting]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer

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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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