Thursday, August 16, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed is a sweet, endearing and funny film. It is the kind of film that keeps me coming back to low-budget indie films. I am often disappointed but then when I see a film like this, the reward makes any other disappointments fade.

I saw it last night at the Denver Film Center and I am so glad I did. Unfortunately it closes tonight (Thursday), so you may not get a chance to see it this go round.

A reporter and two interns from an alternative Seattle magazine, Jake M. Johnson, Aubrey Plaza and Karan Soni, set off in search of a person, Mark Duplass, who placed an ad looking for a partner to share a time-travel machine. There’s got to be a story in that, right?

What evolves is a love story, but also a story of people in search of something lost in their past or perhaps has not yet occurred. Time-travel allows you to go forward as well as back although Johnson and Duplass are looking to recapture love from their past.

The movie was shot with a Sony F3 digital camcorder, but you would not know it by looking at it. It looks as if it was shot on 35mm film. Low-budget movies often use digital camcorders to save money – shooting on film is much more expensive – but the result is often less than satisfactory from a ‘look’ standpoint. Not so here.
Safety Not Guaranteed started with a real ad that screenwriter Derek Connolly saw asking for a companion to go back in time. From that ad he fashioned a terrific screenplay that is funny and touching and under first-time director Colin Trevorrow appropriately paced at 86 minutes.

The performances also are terrific, particularly Aubrey Plaza as a cynical intern who falls for Duplass and blossoms.

So, does anyone go back in time?

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