Safety Not Guaranteed, (2012)

Oh hey, it’s that movie that everyone was talking about! You know, the one that was based on the really old Internet meme from the pre-Tumblr/let’s-all-go-on-ytmnd days! What kind of a movie can you make about a ten year old meme featuring a guy in a mullet who claims he can time travel? A pretty solid indie romance, actually. Maybe not what you were expecting, but it will surprise you. 

Safety Not Guaranteed features a great cast for an indie film, and nobody disappoints with their performance: Aubrey Plaza as the jaded millenial, Jake Johnson as the sleazy-but-nostalgic thirtysomething, and Mark Duplass as the enigmatic “time traveler” all have something strong to bring to the table. This is a romantic comedy in the most awkward way, and only in a way that something first screened at Sundance could be. You don’t expect a lot of the twists this movie takes, in particular the climax, but they creep up on you and will probably make you smile. The romance between Plaza and Duplass is surprisingly believable and the conflicts that come about for our cast all seem so minor compared to the greater themes of this film. Is there really a time machine? If you had the power to, would you use time travel to fix your life? Would you change your past to be more happy? Would you change your past to make someone else happy? There are clear unanswered questions that the audience is left with at the close of this movie; give the time to ponder their meaning, as I’m sure the director intended.

While this isn’t one of my top movies, it definitely stole a piece of my affection for the time that I saw it. If you’re into quirky indie movies, even those of you who are Wes Anderson addicts, you might want to check this out. It has its charms, and I guarantee you won’t be let down. 

All in all, 5 out of 8 tentacles. 

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