Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) (R)













What would you do if you could go back in time and fix a mistake? Would you drop everything, even if everybody turned on you? These are the questions that should have been more forward in "Safety Not Guaranteed" which I really wanted to like, but failed to do so.
Darius is a girl who doesn't fit in, she never did and she feels like she never will. The only time that she was happy was when she was younger and didn't really grasp what was going on. She hardly ever puts her whole heart into tasks. People seem to think poorly of her because she doesn't fit into their conventions: "You're just not a quality hire." "You're such a sad person." These things bounce off of her, she's an individual after all—she doesn't pay much mind to what they think of her. But she's in need of money so she takes a job as an intern at a magazine.
Her boss thinks that Darius is an idiot, simply because she's prejudiced against anyone who's not a writer.
In need of an article, one of the writers finds an ad that invites people to come back in time with the person who submitted the ad. The ad instructs people to bring their own weapons and warns that safety is not guaranteed. Jeff, one of the writers, decides to write a piece about the ad—see if the guy is serious or not.
Jeff takes Darius and another intern off to a small city by the beach. It's cold and windy, not exactly prime real estate for suntans.
Darius meets up with the man who wrote the ad, a man named Kenneth. Kenneth is a go getter, he's experienced in martial arts and other survival techniques. But he could very well be crazy. As soon as she meets him, a connection is made between the two and Darius begins to realize that she is very similar to Kenneth in complex, subtle ways. Each one of them has a past that they don't like to talk about, they both are somewhat on guard with their emotions, and they both are outsiders.
Then there's a side story about Jeff, who (it turns out) is just there to get with a former girlfriend of his. this job is a vacation to him. But this out of town job turns into something so much deeper for Darius as she starts to accept the fact that Kenneth is a wounded soul and that she has to protect him.
Jeff is such a confusing character, he bounds from drunk offense man to soft hearted romantic at no notice. It's not a very well thought out character.
In fact, all the characters besides Kenneth and Darius are not very relatable. I somewhat wish that the movie had only been about those two characters.
It's a movie that becomes less and less about time travel and more about wounded souls finding each other. But it's not a romance....it's not sweet enough for that.
Aubrey Plaza does a great job as Darius and Mark Duplass as well with Kenneth. But the rest of the actors and script weighs them down and unfortunately make "Safety Not Guaranteed" a bland comedy that is average at best.


Score: 2 stars out of 4

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