REVIEW: Safety Not Guaranteed


After Prometheus, I took inSafety Not Guaranteed. I had no clue what it was about, but given the title, how could I not take the chance?

I was a couple minutes late and tempted to ask the woman in front of me what was going on but refrained, not because it’s rude and I’m not so stupid that I couldn’t figure it out myself within 10 minutes, but because she seemed like a cat lady, and they creep me out.

So, the story: Jeff, a writer for Seattle Magazine and sorta scummy/mostly sad dude, his nerdy, socially awkward intern Arno, and a girl named Darius (whose involvement with the aforementioned clowns I must have missed while I was in the bathroom emptying a large diet soda from my system) travel to meet a man who put out an ad seeking a companion to go time traveling with.

EDIT: I just watched the trailer. Darius is also an intern.

Jeff wants to write an article about this crank, and uses Darius to infiltrate the crazyman’s operation. Federal agents, love, coming-of-age and all-around indy humor are all involved. The entire time, I was thinking, “This reminds me of Thor’s character in The Ultimates comic. Is he a lunatic or an actual god? ” Same goes for Kenny, the dude with an arbitrary physical deformity and a plan to go back to 2001 to right a wrong.

It’s a cool premise, obviously derived from his famous ad many have seen thanks to our friend, the Internet (the ad in the film is verbatim from this snippet, minus the address):

The execution is great, too. Reminds me of a cross between a Wes Anderson movie and something like Garden State or Little Miss Sunshine. (EDIT: Jesus, I’m good! It’s from LMS’s producers.) I don’t know a single actor here, and that’s the way to go to ground a film like this. You see Brad Pitt or Hugh Jackman in a movie, and you already have a preconceived notion of who they are. These no-names are tabula rasa, so they feel more like real people.

I wouldn’t go so far as to guarantee you’ll like it, but where’s the fun in a sure thing?

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