SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED

If you could go back in time and change something big, would you do it? And even if you did, would it make any difference. As I see it, that’s the premise of SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED. But how this sweet comedy goes about exploring those questions is what makes it great. Aubrey Plaza is a twenty-something who still lives at home with her dad. Her mom died years ago and it was the event that formed her life. Mark Duplass is a seemingly crazy scientist/grocery store clerk/fugitive who talks like a complete whack job and believes he is building a time machine. Aubrey and two of her co-workers at Seattle Magazine decide to answer Duplass’ ad for a time travel companion. Bring your own weapons, safety not guaranteed. How Plaza and Duplass grow to trust each other and train for their journey is sweet and funny. Jake Johnson is writer to Plaza’s intern. He is in search of something, but even he doesn’t know what it is until he finds it in a love from his teen years. The subtle sweetness, laugh out loud comedy and great performances are what make this a really good movie. Duplass plays the crazy guy with a heart of gold just perfectly. Plaza is a star in the making. Her social outcast/weird girl is sweet without being too odd. At times, she seems like the only honest adult person in the movie. The ending is wonderful and surprising and I won’t say anymore so as not to give it away. Plus Duplass’ song “Big Machine” is just fantastic. This is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. — Alan Yudman

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