Safety Not Guaranteed, Is It Worth Watching?


Aubrey Plaza (Darius) and Mark Duplass (Kenneth Hathaway)

Safety Not Guaranteed is a 2012 American romantic comedy. The film was directed by Colin Trevorrow, and stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, and Karan Soni. The romantic comedy drama is usually very stale and formulaic, but this film shifted the paradigm and came off as very unique and engaging.

The film was first presented at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, it won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting award. Going into this movie, I didn’t know what to expect but the title itself was what pulled me in.

The film follows a magazine writer and two interns, they get a lead from a newspaper ad, the ad is asking for people to assist someone in time travelling, the ads most intriguing sentence, “Safety Not Assured,” the magazine writer, played by Jake Johnson, thinks the person who posted this ad was crazy. The writer decides to follow up, our main character, an intern played by Aubrey Plaza immediately is interested in the prospect, and goes with Jake Johnson to learn more.

This film is not something you could predict. During my watch-time, I had multiple ideas of what the film could be but the film surpassed my expectations and was constantly surprising. The camerawork and cinematography has all the quirks and downfalls that most film festival submissions have, but it is overall filmed in a visually appealing way.

There was quite a bit of cheesy writing that plagued certain scenes, but the overall quirkiness of the movie comes off funnier than most slap-stick jokes could. This movie had quite a few sub plots, these stories that take place during the overarching main story confused me, not because they were significantly out of place but more because I feel like they set-up certain story beats and then dropped them fairly quickly.

A big theme I noticed in this movie was the topic of mental health, whether that takes form in denying the past or delusion. This wraps up in the end of the story with a message that I received as not limiting expectations, surreal things can and will happen in life but it just depends on how you choose to perceive them.

I recommend this movie if you’re looking for a unique story that will subvert your expectations but I definitely do not believe the story is for everyone.