Safety Not Guaranteed [Review 18 for FQ13]

Safety Not Guaranteed

Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes preparing for the journey is more important than the journey itself.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Why I Saw It: I’m a fan of Mark Duplass from his work on THE LEAGUE, and because I’ve had considerable success with indie flicks in the past, I try to see any of them that get decent reviews. Also, I found the premise to be intriguing…

What Was It About?  “Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Memorable Performances: This is the best dramatic work I’ve seen from Mark Duplass, and so this will rank right up there with his comedic work from The League. Aubrey Plaza (PARKS & REC) does a great job with showing how her character is torn between two mindsets on the situation. Jake Johnson (NEW GIRL) should be recognized for his performance, which was significantly better than I was expecting for a role which wasn’t considerably large.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • Best Actor – Mark Duplass
  • Best Supporting Actor – Aubrey Plaza
  • Best Supporting Actor – Jake Johnson

Favorite Parts: The firearms training scene in the woods was great, as was the speech Jake Johnson gave to his intern. The low-speed car chase was quite amusing. The ending, when things could still go either way, was phenomenal, and my wife and I agreed that it was going to end up being a great story either way.

The Regrettable Aspects: There really weren’t any.

Would I watch it again? I’ll probably watch it again this weekend, as it’s available on Netflix Instant and I have family in town who haven’t seen it.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  To anyone who enjoys comedies which don’t THROW the jokes at you, and to anyone who can appreciate a film with mild sci-fi elements.

Other Recommendations:

Radio Flyer – there are a few of the same themes involved, and it’s a heart-warming tale which involves a considerable amount of drama (quite a bit more than with Safety Not Guaranteed).

Your Sister’s Sister – though I haven’t reviewed it yet (I’m a bit behind and I’m trying to catch up), it’s a great film which happens to star Mark Duplass.

The Puffy Chair – this is another one from Mark Duplass showing off his dramatic side, and although it’s a bit unpolished and not the greatest film in the world, it’s certainly worth a viewing if you enjoyed Duplass in Safety Not Guaranteed and you also watched Your Sister’s Sister. (Here’s my full review of The Puffy Chair)

If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to Safety Not Guaranteed, or for other similar films, let me know!

Next up, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.

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5 responses to “Safety Not Guaranteed [Review 18 for FQ13]

  1. Awesome blog – consider yourself followed! Personally I loved Safety Not Guaranteed, a quirky, engaging and heartwarming little indie that had a pretty cool sci-fi twist – ‘why should he be a crazy guy’, ‘why should time travel be implausable’ I found myself asking. Great review – L.A. Confidential is awesome too by the way!

  2. Good review! It is indeed a great film. You might want to see Robot and Frank which has a similar approach to the genre. Low key sic-fi/drama in which the emphasis is more on human relationships than science.

  3. I went in with zero expectation and really dug this film. Plaza was great and as an added bonus the ending had the misses in tears.

    First time visitor, found you via the facebook review support group. When you get a chance swing by our film site and say hi.

    • She’s easy on the eyes, here, too. That’s something I haven’t necessarily seen from her in prior roles (Scott Pilgrim; Mystery Team) I’ve seen her in. She always does a great job, though.

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